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    Literary Devices in Into The Wild

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    In the novel Into the Wild John Krakauer had a defensible point for including the lengthy chapters on Carl McCunn, John Waterman, Everett Ruess, and himself. Krakauer included their stories to amplify his and the readers perception of Christopher McCandless. Krakauer uses their stories as a way to compare and relate the individuals to McCandless.

    Krakauer also included these men because he wanted to contradict the letters of disapproval generated by his article in the Outdoor Magazine on Chris’s death. Many of these speculations were from Alaskan natives who had found Chris’s story to be an impractical assumption and suicidal proclivity. With Krakauer’s own wilderness experiences and reports of hikers, both comparing and contrasting with McCandless, John Krakauer strives to refute the theorizing of these literary critics.

    Krakauer chose to intertwine the personality traits of Christopher McCandless and the other men to accord the reader a full understanding of the comparison between McCandless and the rest of the men. He did this as a way to intensify his and the readers understanding of Christopher McCandless. Adventurous and riskful, John Waterman had a significant success being a mountain climber. He was very talented and developed a standing for his mastery. As a young child Waterman’s father took him mountain climbing habitually. As Waterman became more skillful and successful with his climbing he developed a mental illness.

    He was very delusional and having a mental illness was always a theme of conference, as was it for McCandless. His childhood could be comparable with Chris’s that being how he connected with the wilderness. Waterman led his way to what most people would consider his last venture, that meant hiking Mt.Denali. “I won’t be seeing you again.”(Krakauer 79) Said by Waterman to a friend, note definite nature. Krakauer included Waterman in Into the Wild to rebut the assertion that McCandless was suicidal and insane. Krakauer would prove this by showing the suicidal nature of Waterman and collating it to Chris’s conduct.

    Carl McCunn is another individual that Krakauer included in the story. Carl can be related with Chris in many respects. Krakauer included Carl McCunn to show readers that Christopher McCandless wasn’t by himself and he wasn’t the only person who had gone off into the wild.“Somehow though, he neglected to arrange for the pilot to fly him back at civilizations end, and it lost McCunn his life.” Both men had made very poor mistakes that had cost them their lives. Another similarity between McCunn and McCandless was they had given up in the end instead of fighting. Carl had kept spare bullets from his already low supply to end his life, instead of using them to kill food. Chris had one last hope for returning to civilization but lost his chances when he didn’t cross the river.

    Everett Ruess was raised in a victorious, well literate family just like Christopher McCandless. Everett had replaced his name during his adventures, and then switched back to his birth name, just as McCandless had done. Krakauer had incorporated Everett Ruess in the story to give the reader a comparison between two men who had traveled into the wild and what challenges they faced. It also gave readers a better understanding of McCandless. “ with no explanation, he goes back to calling himself Everett Ruess”. (Krakauer, 93) With the addition of Everett Ruess incorporated into Into the Wild Krakauer shares someone who can assuredly associate with Christopher McCandless. Jon Krakauer embraced himself in the book for two chief occasions.

    One, to show how the association between father and son influences the progress and mentalities of children. Two, to show the reader that McCandless’s expedition wasn’t all that deranged and it was by prospect that he perished. Krakauer was like many of the other explorers broached, he advanced from a successful family. His father was relentlessly pushing him to take part in medical school and was determined to know what had changed his son’s decision to pursue his life as a mountain climber. Jon can be compared to Christopher because both of the men’s fathers had extremely high standards for their sons and they both couldn’t take it anymore. “But I was not a clone of my father… Instead, I felt oppressed by the old man’s expectations…The revelation that he was merely human, and rightfully so, was beyond my power to forgive (Krakauer, 148).’ Krakauer can relate to McCandless with how he was brought up and in the book his purpose of including his story leaves the reader with a complete understanding of Christopher McCandless’s decision, as to why he journeyed off into the wild.

    I find that Krakauer’s decision to incorporate the men into the book was a wise decision. Including the men left readers with a better understanding of why Chris McCandless ventured into the wild and how his life before influenced his destiny. The men he had chosen had three things in common, that being a similar drive, intelligence, as well as background. Including the men also proved the Alaskan natives to have false theories and contradict the letters of disapproval about Chris’s suicidal and insane assumptions.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Literary Devices in Into The Wild. (2021, Apr 12). Retrieved from

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