Writer and mountaineer, Jon Krakauer, in his book “Into the Wild,” describes how the adventures of Chris McCandless was similar to Gene Rosellini, John Waterman, Carl McCunn, and Everett Ruess. Krakauer’s purpose is to emphasize how all men were similar in how they lived their life. Writing for the general public, Krakauer adopts an informative tone in order to describe how the four men are similar to McCandless in regards to his adventures.
Krakauer begins his story by comparing McCandless to Rosellini. Gene Rossellini, a "wayward genius...interested in knowing if it was possible to be independent of modern technology." After experimenting for "over a decade", he concluded that "it is not possible for human beings as we know them to live off the land," and although he did not seem devastated by his findings, he killed himself in 1991 by stabbing himself though the heart. McCandless and Rosellini are similar because both were interested in the outdoor and finding life outside of the civilized society.
Krakauer also compares McCandless to John Waterman, who made several ventures alone into the wild. A self-critical, compulsive character, Waterman was erratic and unstable, and when his "life's work," an "accumulation of notes, poetry, and personal journals" was destroyed in a fire, he hopelessly set out into the frozen mountains with minimal gear and was never seen again. McCandless is similar to Waterman because just like Waterman, McCandless died in the wilderness and having discovered after a few weeks.
Another man who Krakauer have compared McCandless to is Carl McCunn. As a worker on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline in the 70’s, McCunn was in Alaska already and in 1981 requested to be flown to a remote lake above the Coleen River. He forgot to request a flight back though and soon ran out of food in his cabin. Rather than attempting to walk back out of the wilderness, he wasted away in his cabin and eventually shot himself....