young adventure

Essay by krm92867College, UndergraduateB, October 2014

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Kaitlin McGrane McGrane 1

Professor Brad Summerhill

English 102-1020

19 February 2014

Young Adventure

In Jon Krakauer's book of nonfiction, Into the Wild, he presents an intense reenactment of a man's struggle to survive in the harsh Alaskan wilderness. Krakauer, an established contributor to Outside Magazine, decided to pursue the story of a young gentleman by the name of Chris McCandless after McCandless's death in the early 1990s. After some investigation into his death Krakauer became mildly obsessed with retracing this young man's two year journey from Georgia to Alaska. His investigation was motivated by the similarities he saw between McCandless and himself. This drove him to look more into the reasons why McCandless went on the journey and not just the black and white facts that he found. Krakauer's later books were also rooted from this story and he focused on the idea that some men seek out adventure no matter the dangerousness of the situation.

In this particular excerpt from Into the Wild the focus is on McCandless's final leg of his journey through Alaska. This seems to be the most difficult part of his two year voyage even though he manages to survive two months of solitary life. However the critics of McCandless question why he even tried to face the Alaskan wilderness by himself in the first place. The answer could be because of a range of things from just proving he could to himself, to finding

McGrane 2

meaning in his short life, all the way to just needing to get away from his everyday responsibilities.

Though the critics say that Chris McCandless was not prepared, Krakauer sets out to prove that he in fact was. The story starts out with Chris getting a ride to Fairbanks, Alaska from a man named...