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Into the Wild - Writing Assignment
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Prof Pat Swenson

Campus Email: pat.swenson@csun.edu

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Department of English

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Into the Wild - Writing Assignment


Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild describes the harrowing journey of Chris McCandless as he searches for the ideal Thoreauean lifestyle. McCandless’ story captures our imagination by appealing to the desire to be free from materialistic and emotional possessions. According to Krakauer, McCandless "invented a new life for himself, taking up residence at the ragged margin of our society, wandering across North America in search of raw, transcendent experience."

For your 1000 word analysis, please explore McCandless’ reasoning for seeking a solitary and renunciant existence, as you address ALL the following questions. In addition, please add one quote from the book for items 1-3 listed below.

Remember to post your analysis via our Turnitin link on our Moodle page by the due date listed in our schedule.

(1) What were the events that led Chris McCandless to this idealistic path? Describe the path. (Include one quote with page number(s) from book.)

(2) Why did McCandless (and some of the other explorers mentioned in the book) need to experience the extremes of life and the extremes of the wild? (Include one quote with page number(s) from book.)

(3) What prevented McCandless from being able to experience emotional intimacy with others (and perhaps with himself)? (Include one quote with page number(s) from book.)

(4) On a personal note, how were you affected by reading McCandless’ story? What insights did you gain into your “self”?

PLEASE NOTE: Because this assignment will be discussed by peers in a discussion forum, papers posted AFTER our the due date cannot earn a grade higher than a C!!!