Title of Book: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer Was Chris McCandless crazy?

Essay by mredzCollege, Undergraduate March 2003

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Jon Krakauer, the author, has used quite a few rhetorical themes while writing his book. I have chosen the interviews he has conducted with people who knew Chris McCandless as my theme. I feel that these interviews carry a lot of importance as they give us a good insight of Chris, the kind of person he was and the protective and isolated life he was living.

While reading the book we come across a lot of point of views of different people. People who did not know much about Chris, but judged him according to his fate. These people thought Chris was an insane person with a death wish, much like the people he idolized. They all thought that going into the bush and trying to live off the land for such an extended period of time, that too with such little knowledge of the land was insane. Their reaction to Chris's odyssey depended a lot on the fact that Chris did not make it out of there.

Had Chris survived and come out alive, the same people would be the ones praising his accomplishments.

One of the interviews that defies the general thought of Chris being crazy is of Roman Dial. Roman was one of the guys who went back to the bus with Krakauer, to figure out what really happened to Chris and what caused his death. Roman points out that the reaction towards Chris is so negative because he reminds a lot of people of themselves, when they were young. And that is what scares them.

Roman a hiker himself says that he used to be a lot similar to the way Chris was when he was young. But the major difference between the two was that he made it out of there and Chris did...