Into the Wild

When first introduced to the character Alex, or Chris McCandless, I have to admit he really annoyed me. By doing things like, cutting off contact with his parents to intentionally hurt them and getting offended when his parent offered to buy him a new car and put him through law school, he came off as a rich kid who had no appreciation for all that he had. As the story progressed though, and I was taken deeper into his character and life, I began to see the world through Alex’s eyes. The frustration and annoyance that I felt before soon turned into understanding, although there are some things that he did that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to understand. Ultimately though, Alex was a young man trying to grasp the world around him and find his place in it. I feel that this is something we all go through, Alex just went about it a very different way. This being said, I believe that Jon Krakauer’s intended audience when decided to write and publish Alex’s story, was everyone. I believe everyone, on some level, carries with them an innate curiosity about the world around them. Alex took this curiosity to new and rarely explored places and ideas. By looking at Alex’s adventures across the country and into the wilderness, and examining his logic behind his decisions, we are able to relate to his ideas, if not his actions, and are drawn to Alex’s story in a unique way. Krakauer’s portrayal of Alex as the average, albeit brilliant and talented kid, he is able to pull in people who also have at some point desired to be independent and to learn about and know the world around him. These desires cover a vast majority of people and thus the book reaches it’s intended vast audience.

Now a question that I continued to think back upon while reading Into the Wild, was whether or not Alex McCandless would even have wanted a book written about him. From what the book says and what all the people who knew him say, he seemed to be a very private person. He would rarely tell those whom he met on the road his real name, and he rarely let people know what he was thinking. Alex seemed like a very private person and I’m not sure he’d want his life’s story out for the world to see. On the other hand though, he seemed to encourage others to do as he had done and escape society and go into nature. There was an elderly man that Alex met on his journey, named Ronald A. Franz, and to whom Alex grew quite close. Franz also felt a connection to Alex, and when Alex left, he told Franz to leave his home and everything that tied him down and to go out and live in the wilderness. Surprisingly enough, Franz did this. So I believe on some level Alex would have wanted to encourage other to escape into nature. Even after finishing the book I really don’t have an answer. I think it’s a question that only Alex himself could answer.

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2 thoughts on “Into the Wild

  1. Janet well done your blog post. I really enjoyed reading it and loved how you get to the core meaning of this book. You manage to go into depth in Chris’s character and through that getting to the message that he trying to portray through this book. You addressed what audience was being targeted and you managed to mention how we can relate to his ideas and maybe you could have gone more into how we relate to him an his ideas. It seems that in your last paragraph towards the beginning you seem to focus more on his character. Maybe you could have focused that paragraph more on how we relate to his ideas as you mentioned. One thing I would say is that you could have split up your paragraphs to make your points stand out . Because the thing is that in bulk it overwhelms the reader and you points are not really clear , its more of an endless list of ideas. Otherwise really well done 🙂

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  2. Hey Janet,
    I think you did a really good job of bringing your thoughts into this post instead of just making it a summary. The final paragraph poses a question that you personally thought of, and it’s those little touches that help a reader connect to the writer. Even in the first paragraph you wove in mostly your thoughts with little summary. Something to try out next time might be to look critically at sentence structure. In the beginning, a few of the sentences got a bit unruly and may have been run-ons. Regardless, great job!

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