Into the Wild: Book vs. Movie

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Into the Wild: Book vs. Movie
Into the Wild happens to be my favorite book, and also one of my favorite movies. Most people like one or the other, but I think the two complement each other because of the varied stances taken on the main character himself. In case you’re not familiar, Into the Wild is based on the true story of Chris McCandless who, after graduating with honors from Emory University in 1990, gave his entire savings of twenty-four thousand dollars to charity and set off following his dream of living off the land in the Alaskan wilderness. McCandless made it to Alaska, but died shortly after taking residence in an abandoned bus; he probably passed from eating the wrong deadly plant or possibly from starvation. The book was written by John Krakauer in 1996 and was an expansion of an article he wrote based on his fascination with Chris McCandless called “Death of an Innocent” which appeared in the January 1993 issue of Outside magazine. The movie was directed by Sean Penn and came out in 2007. Both the book and the movie tell the story of Chris McCandless aka Alexander Supertramp, and his journey hitchhiking from Georgia to Alaska on a quest for truth. Although the book and the film are similar, there are a myriad of differences as well.

One notable difference between the movie and the book is in the structure and chronology. Both the film and the book basically disregard the chronology of the actual events that took place throughout Chris’s life and up until his death. Chris McCandless himself sought to completely abandon all forms of structure and the movie mirrors this by jumping in between three different narratives. The first shows Chris, isolated from society, loving life and not only being physically hungry, but being hungry for the enlightenment that he sought through this type of lifestyle. The second narrative shows the months leading up to McCandless landing in Alaska. The third narrative explains the emotional trauma he experienced as...
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