Into the Wild: Comparing Sean Penn and Jon Krakauer

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Sean Penn and Jon Krakauer highlighted certain features of McCandless’ personality through certain relationships in Into The Wild the book and movie. Both artists highlight McCandless’ rebelliousness in the relationship between his parents and himself. On the other hand both artists took a different approach to his struggle with intimacy in his relationship to Ron Franz.

Krakauer used the relationship between McCandless and his parents to emphasize his rebelliousness. Krakauer uses a letter McCandless wrote to show how he felt about his parents offer to buy him a new car and pay for law school. The letters tone showed how much McCandless despised his parents and rebelled against them. McCandless acts surprised in the letter that his parents would dare make such an offer to him. He states “I’m going to have to be real careful not to accept any gifts from them in the future because they will think they have bought my respect” (Krakauer 21). The remark he made shows that he believed his parents could buy his respect. The remark illustrated that he would decline any offer his parents made to him. Krakauer lets the audience witness the hatred and rebellion McCandless exhibited towards his parents. In addition, he uses an epigraph to highlight why he despised his parents and allow the audience view things from McCandless’ perspective. The epigraph states “I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, an obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not; and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board” (Krakauer 117). The epigraph showcases how McCandless feelings towards his parent’s materialism. McCandless rejected the materialism offered, and sought what his parents did not such as honesty and...

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...perience to let the audience witness how he rebelled against his parents and show the animosity he felt towards them. Penn used the dinner scene to highlight the tension between McCandless and his parents, and uses the scene to show why he rebelled from his parents. Krakauer made McCandless come off as a person who struggled with intimacy and wrote Ron a letter criticizing him to avoid being intimate towards him. Penn took the opposite approach and had both of them sitting, talking, and enjoying each other’s company. Both artists took a similar approach to McCandless rebellion with his parents, but opposing approaches with his relationship with Ron highlighting his struggle with intimacy.

Works Cited

Krakauer, Jon. “Into the Wild”. New York: Anchor Books, a division of Random House Inc, 1996. Print.

Pean, Senn, dir. “Into the Wild”. Paramount, 2007. Film
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