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Krakauer Into The Wild Thesis Statement

In an "Author's Note" preceding the tale of Christopher McCandless, who forwent all the opportunities of the "American Dream," forsaking the promise of a lucrative career in exchange for a life of zero material comforts and a constant risk of disease and death by starvation or exposure, Jon Krakauer summed up his protagonist's life as follows:

"Immediately after graduating, with honors, from Emory University in the summer of 1990, McCandless dropped out of sight. He changed...

In an "Author's Note" preceding the tale of Christopher McCandless, who forwent all the opportunities of the "American Dream," forsaking the promise of a lucrative career in exchange for a life of zero material comforts and a constant risk of disease and death by starvation or exposure, Jon Krakauer summed up his protagonist's life as follows:

"Immediately after graduating, with honors, from Emory University in the summer of 1990, McCandless dropped out of sight. He changed his name, gave the entire balance of a twenty-four-thousand-dollar savings account to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet. And then he invented a new life for himself, taking up residence at the ragged margin of our society, wandering across North America in search of raw, transcendent experience."

When formulating a thesis statement for Into the Wild, then, one would logically begin with that observation regarding the decisions McCandless made that shaped and prematurely ended his life.  Chris McCandless, for reasons ultimately known only to him, was dissatisfied with the way his life was evolving within the conventional confines of society.  He eschewed ambition and materialism in favor of living as close to nature and as far removed form society as he possibly could.  He was alienated from his parents, who loved him, but who could never truly understand him.  A thesis statement, therefore, could read as follows: "Christopher McCandless rejected the American Dream as traditionally defined and sought a more emotionally fulfilling existence in the wilds of Alaska.  His demise from starvation or accidental poisoning was the result of underestimating the scale of distinction between "civilization" and the uncivilized wilds into which he retreated."

Analysis of Jon Krakauer’s Into The Wild Essay example

1594 Words7 Pages

Throughout the novel, Christopher McCandless’s character changed over time. Up to McCandless’s death, he wanted to live with the wild and to be away from civilization as far as possible. He changes his mind when he writes “HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED” (189). His purpose of living in the wild is to live with freedom and do whatever he wishes to do. However, he realizes he was a “refuge in nature” (189) and intended to abandon his solitary life and rejoin the human community. It is assumed that McCandless died a preventable death because of his unpreparedness, but it is now undeniable that his adversity is what caused his mortality. “…McCandless simple had the misfortune to eat moldy seeds. An innocent mistake, it was nevertheless…show more content…

Krakauer presents this tone by quoting the McCandless family. Carine, Christopher’s younger sister, had difficulties getting over her brother’s death. “Ten months after Chris’s death, Carine still grieves deeply for her brother. “I can’t seem to get through a day without crying” ”(129). Krakauer also explains how Christopher’s family all suffered from an eating disorder and acquired unhealthy weight gain/loss. “ “I just don’t understand why he had to take those kind of chances,” Billie protests through her tears.” (132). Krakauer secretly indicates sadness within the text.

Krakauer’s first person point of view shows his thoughts and his experiences as he climbs the Devil’s Thumb. “The climbing was so steep and so exposed it made my head spin” (142). Krakauer can easily show his encounter with the wild and what runs through his mind. His first person point of view also symbolizes how McCandless could have felt during his hike on the Stampede Trail. “My eyesight blurred, I began to hyperventilate, my calves started to shake” (143). Krakauer’s experiences were similar to that of McCandless’s because the Devil’s Thumb is abreast to the Stampede Trail and they went through comparable weather conditions. Not every day does McCandless write in his journal, so Krakauer must show what may have happened to McCandless using his first person view of his past. If Krakauer did not share his

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