Journal 1: Bibliographic Entry
Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor, 1997. Print.
Journal 2: Visual Symbol
In this book, the author chose deserts to symbolize the loneliness of Chris McCandless. He always traveled through the deserts alone, having no contact with anyone else. “He spent nearly four months in the bush all told, and during that period he didn’t encounter another living soul.” (165) McCandless was cut off from the rest of the world. He wanted freedom, and traveling through the deserts allowed him that freedom. “No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.” (163) “The desert sharpened the sweet ache of his longing, amplified it, gave shape to it in sere geology and clean slant of light.” (32) Walking through the desert alone helped him to feel that freedom that he wanted.
Journal 3: Setting
“He lived on the streets with bums, tramps, and winos for several weeks.” (37) “He was elated to be there. Inside the bus, on a sheet of weathered plywood spanning a broken window, McCandless scrawled an exultant declaration of independence.” (163) “The empty desert stretched out into the distance, shimmering in the heat.” (27) “A madrigal of creaks and sharp reports-the sort of protest a large fir limb makes when it’s slowly bent to the breaking point-served as a reminder that it is the nature of glaciers to move, the habit of seracs to topple.” (139)
Journal 4: Striking Idea
Something that really caught my attention was how McCandless saw the wilderness as pure. It was free from modern society; it was somewhere where he could be himself. McCandless wants freedom. By traveling through the wilderness he gets a sense of that freedom, and he finds a way to live the way he wants. Before going out, McCandless had a good idea of what he was going to do. Later on in his journey, he ends up doing a lot that keeps him from enjoying the wilderness. He spends a lot of time looking for food and killing instead of actually appreciating the wilderness itself. In his journal he writes a lot about food and his killings. I also found interesting that a lot of his heroes who wrote about the wilderness, didn’t actually spend much time living in it. “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy.” (57)
Journal 5: Significant Phrase
“I’m going to have to be real careful not to accept any gifts from them in the future because they will think they have bought my respect.” (21) These words from Chris McCandless are significant because it shows that he could care less about wealth and gifts. In modern society, being wealthy is a big thing; it makes you superior to others. McCandless didn’t want that, he wanted to keep his old Datsun and travel. He also gave away his college fund to charity. “One hundred twenty-three dollars in legal tender was promptly reduced to ash and smoke.” (29) This phrase also helps prove the point that McCandless would rather have freedom than wealth. First he gives his college fund to charity, and then he burns the only money he has left. It shows that he doesn’t want to conform to modern society.
Journal 6: Striking Object
During reading this book, I came to the part where McCandless was making this leather belt with different designs on it. I found it interesting because after analyzing it, I realized that all the designs symbolized people he had met on the road. Everyone who he met made an impact on him one way or another. He made an impact on their lives too. He wants to remember all the people that he’s met and traveled with. He also had Ron Franz help him with the belt. This...
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