Essay on Into the Wild: Comparing the Book and Movie

Essay on Into the Wild: Comparing the Book and Movie

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Into the Wild, a novel written by Jon Krakauer, as well as a film directed by Sean Penn, talks about Chris McCandless, a young individual who set out on a journey throughout the Western United States, isolating himself from society, and more importantly, his family. During his travels, he meets a lot of different people, that in a way, change his ways about how he sees the world. There are many characteristics to describe McCandless, such as “naïve”, “adventurous”, and “independent”. In the book, Krakauer described McCandless as “intelligent”, using parts in his book that show McCandless being “intelligent”. While Krakauer thinks of McCandless as being “intelligent”, Penn thinks of McCandless as a more “saintly” type of person.
To show McCandless being “intelligent”, Krakauer used the part in his book where McCandless graduated from college. McCandless went to Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He graduated in April of 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in both history and anthropology. He also maintained a 3.72 grade point average during his college experience. Wayne Westerberg, one of the many people that McCandless encountered throughout his journey, even said that, “You could tell right away that Alex was intelligent. He read a lot, and used a lot of big words,” (Krakauer 18). McCandless must be very intelligent if he went to college, and also got a near perfect grade point average.
To show McCandless being a “saintly” kind of person, Penn used a scene from his film, with that scene being McCandless donating some money to an organization called OXFAM. When McCandless graduated from Emory, he had almost twenty-five thousand dollars left over from his tuition. Since he never really cared that much about money, McCandless ...


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...nt happens when McCandless starts his journey. Just like when he encountered Franz, and had a close relationship with him, McCandless met other people, and he made lifelong relationships with those people that he met. He even wrote letters to them so they could keep in touch. To him, all those people, like Franz, Westerberg, and even Jim Gallien all seemed like his family. Some of them gave him a place to crash for the night, gave him a job, and even assisted him on his journey like giving him a ride. McCandless being nice and appreciative to all those people for helping him throughout his journey shows how “saintly” he can be.



Works Cited

Into the Wild. Dir. Sean Penn. Perf. Emile Hirsch and Vince Vaughn. IMDb. 15 Nov. 2013. 18 Nov. 2013

Krakauer, Jon. “Into the Wild”. New York: First Anchor Books, 1996. Print.

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