Into the Wild Discussion Questions

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Discussion Questions

1. I completely agree with the author's assessment in that Christopher McCandless definitely invented a new life for himself searching for a raw, transcendent experience.” McCandless reinvented himself by changing his name to “Alexander Supertramp” and living off of nature in the wild. “At one point Westerberg discovered from a tax form that McCandless real name was Chris, not Alex” (18) After he graduated from college, his life was transcendent because he went against his father's plan and degree to live a self-reliant and extreme life.

2. In my opinion, The Call of The Wild is defined as the survival of the fittest and the ability to live and survive without outside assistance. I believe the call does not still exist today as it did in American history because of new innovations in technology that Americans have today. Wilderness is very important to us as people, because when technology fails, Americans will not have learned the way to live independently. To me as an individual, the “wild” is an environment that is very important to learn how to live in if I am ever placed in that scenario.

3. McCandless borrowed Thoreau's transcendentalist philosophies to inspire his expedition into the wilderness. Both hated materialism and the idea of money, as well as turning their backs on society and embracing their appreciation and love of nature. Both had the same reasons for leaving society, but had a different approach in preparedness. Thoreau planned his expedition very carefully. He built a shelter and brought along all the necessities such as food, water, clothing, and fuel. McCandless was extremely unprepared for his journey. Thoreau was also gregarious and did not mind about people knowing where he was and where he was going.

4. Americans have a particular image: strong, independent, ambitious and individual. Gordon Young, who believed that McCandless “did not die in vain, and that his life was enviable in many respects.” I...
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