Jon Krakauer’s nonfiction narrative literary masterwork Into the Wild, released in 1996, is highly praised. In 1996, the first edition of Into the Wild was published. The tale contains a sophisticated plot and character development, even though it is based on real individuals and historical events. This is because the narrative is based on a true event. After researching the life and death of Christopher McCandless, a young man found dead in a bus in Alaska in 1992 after travelling extensively throughout the nation for several years, Krakauer wrote an article for the magazine in 1993 that was finally published. This article served as the template for Krakauer’s book.
Because it portrays an actual event in a way similar to a book in terms of its use of novel-style description and character development, it has been compared to similar works of nonfiction like “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote and “The Right Stuff” by Tom Wolfe. This is a result of the fact that it recounts a true incident. Because of the way it handles concerns connected to man’s connection with human civilization and the environment, it often evokes similarities to other works of nature literature, such as Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. This is a consequence of the way certain topics are handled.
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Summary of Into The wild
The storyline of “Into the Wild” is broken into two sections: the actual action sequences and the process of building an impression of the main character, Christopher McCandless. Many plot points are influenced by the way these two storylines are intertwined. While the first narrative follows McCandless on his wilderness adventure, the second plotline provides Krakauer and the reader an insight into his psyche and drive. Throughout the novel, the two stories are linked. The two tales’ plots are interwoven throughout the full book. Neither of the plots is given in a linear form. The two frequently cross over due to the explanation, construction of multiple different cause and effect chains, and display of minute detail. Nonlinear graphs are used to illustrate both graphs. One thing to remember is that none of these tales is given linearly. The book’s narrator is none other than Krakauer, who co-wrote it.
The corpse of Christopher McCandless is discovered for the first time in the film Into the Wild by a group of Alaskan hunters who return to Denali National Park and Preserve each year. This occurs for the first time in the film. They’ve sent out a call for help on the radio. When the FBI officials arrive, they remove the deceased’s corpse from the crime scene. Following that, Krakauer goes into a tavern in Carthage, Wisconsin, where he runs into Wayne Westerberg. Krakauer gets a character profile of Christopher McCandless from Westerberg, who met him while he was still known as “Alex McCandless.” McCandless was a labourer for Westerberg, who occasionally worked on his grain elevator when they were employees. As far as Westerberg was concerned, McCandless was a valuable employee because of his abilities, wits, and perseverance. McCandless’ upbringing in a comfortable, middle-class Virginia family and his distaste for materialism help Krakauer better understand the young guy. The information supplied here brings the narrator back to the beginning of McCandless’ westward voyage in his rusty old yellow Datsun.
After getting his college certificate, McCandless drives to Lake Mead in Nevada in his Datsun, only to be stranded by a flash flood, forcing the engine to flood. McCandless is compelled to call it quits on his endeavour. This is only one of the numerous things he takes with him when he departs. After two months of travelling, he ultimately gives in to his yearning for a boat and paddles across the lake with it. To complete the journey, he paddles down the Colorado River to Mexico. The journey is expected to take five months in all. At this time, the McCandless family started to dig into and seek their son. After completing his canoe expedition, McCandless went to Bullhead City, Arizona, where he is still seeking work in the sector.
Before continuing his voyage to California, McCandless stays with an older man called Charlie. There, he meets Jan Buress and her ex-fiance. McCandless is referred to as Charlie during this period. Even though he attends Buress’s drifting camp’s social activities, he immediately departs to begin his trek to Alaska. To begin, Ronald Franz pennies a letter to Krakauer, which he follows up with an introduction. Franz talks about his father-son relationship with Christopher McCandless throughout their interview. The narrator analyses the damage that McCandless’s irresponsible acts as a consequence of his activities caused to other people using Franz’s account as a starting point.
Krakauer meets with Wayne Westerberg’s mother and girlfriend to learn more about Christopher McCandless’ last month in Carthage, South Dakota. He achieves this by integrating the facts they supply. He achieves this by merging the informational snippets they have supplied. To add insult to injury, Christopher McCandless informed his pals through letters that he was leaving into the woods and may not be back by the end of April 1992 that he intended to stay there. He eventually comes to understand the tense bond between McCandless and his father. The second phase of Krakauer’s inquiry was marked by the distressing realization that many individuals who read the first piece Krakauer wrote on Christopher McCandless for Outdoor magazine considered McCandless was an insufficiently romantic idiot. This finding marks the next step in Krakauer’s inquiry. In response, Krakauer chose to relate the experiences of three other persons who also liked the outdoors but were born in the 20th century. These guys were out in the bush and either perished or got lost. He feels that Everett Ruess, a young artist, and Christopher McCandless are the most similar after examining these qualities.
Alaskan police officers who have returned to the bus have attempted to identify McCandless’ corpse. When Jim Gallien discovers that the body has been recovered, he notifies the relevant authorities. This commences a sequence of following activities, the climax of which is identifying the person who departed. Before meeting McCandless’ mother, Krakauer meets the person who raised him and his father’s family members. Grandpa Walt McCandless, the protagonist’s father, also appears. Billie walks Krakauer through a series of images she shot of Christopher when he was younger, while Walt tells Krakauer about the pain Christopher has caused the rest of the family. Krakauer refocused his study once he uncovered McCandless’s displeasure with his family. McCandless learnt that his father had been a bigamist while visiting California after high school and before marrying his first wife. He was completely surprised when he learned this. According to Krakauer, McCandless’ wrath over the long-buried familial reality was one of the reasons he decided to leave his life behind and establish a new one somewhere else.
The following two chapters of Krakauer’s book are dedicated to documenting his actual climb of the famed ice staircase at Devil’s Thumb. These occurrences spark recollections of McCandless’ journey. Krakauer must spend three days confined to his base camp as his endeavour to summit the north face of the glacier proved unsuccessful. Following an unfortunate incident involving the spread of fire in his camp, he makes one more effort to summit the mountain and succeeds on the mountain’s southeast face. As a consequence of the events presented here, Krakauer can conclude that Christopher McCandless could not have begun on his walk to end his own life.
The tale reaches a suitable climax owing to Jon Krakauer’s first-person account of his voyage to Denali National Park and the abandoned bus where Christopher McCandless’s corpse was found. Along with three other talented Alaskans, Krakauer paddles over the same river that had kept McCandless from leaving the woods in the novel. After a gruelling day, the four explorers decided to check the bus when they inevitably came across it along the path. Based on what I can discern, nothing much has changed since McCandless was last there. While having supper together, the group examines the compelling elements that prompted McCandless to quit civilization and travel into the woods. The author returns to Walt and Billie McCandless’ bus in the book’s final epilogue as a homage to Christopher McCandless’ parents.