Krakauer’s Belief in McCandless

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The day is unlike any other. The mail has come and lying at the bottom of the stack is the favored Outside magazine. The headline reads, “Exclusive Report: Lost in the Wild.” The cover speaks of a twenty four year old boy who “walked off into America’s Last Frontier hoping to make sense of his life.” The monotony of the ordinary day has now vanished from thought as Jon Krakauer’s captivating article runs through the mind like gasoline to an engine. The article is not soon forgotten, and the book Into the Wild is happened upon three years later. The book relates the full story of Christopher Johnson McCandless and how he left his family and friends after graduating college in order to find himself. Krakauer based the book off of his article on McCandless that was printed in January of 1993. From the time of writing the article to the printing of Into the Wild, Krakauer was obsessed with the tale of the boy who rid himself of society and later turned up dead in the Alaskan frontier. In the foreword of Into the Wild, Krakauer describes McCandless as “an extremely intense young man [who] possessed a streak of stubborn idealism that did not mesh readily with modern existence” and who was in deed searching for a “raw, transcendent experience” (i-ii). Krakauer is correct in assessing this conclusion about McCandless. This conclusion is seen throughout the book in many different assessments. Krakauer uses logical appeal, a comparison to his own life, and assumption to bring about his assessment of McCandless’ life.

The first acknowledgement and proof of Krakauer’s correct statement is found almost halfway through the book. Krakauer begins to use logical appeal to convey to the reader that McCandless was not “a reckless idiot, a wacko, [o...

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...t of time that he did had he been “a wacko [or] a narcissist” (iii). Krakauer’s view of McCandless is obviously evident when he discusses his adventure to climb the Devil’s Thumb. When Krakauer set out to summit the Devil’s Thumb, he was searching for something that would fix everything that was wrong with his life. The same could be said about McCandless. Both had a sort of grudge against their fathers. That does not mean they were correct to be angry with their fathers, but it does mean that they were not acting out of idiocy or narcissism. The final proof of Krakauer’s beliefs of Chris is his assumption as to Chris’ possible cause of death. It may be an assumption, however it is the most plausible cause of death due to Krakauer’s method of logically breaking the other theories apart.

Work Cited

Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor, 1997. Print.
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