–Jack London 

For your post today, I want you to try to answer one or more of these questions.

1.  One of the questions that keeps arising in the reading and discussion of Into the Wild is why McCandless keeps refusing aid (money, clothes, etc.)  I want you to speculate why he may have done this.  What were his ideals?  What were his ideas about society?

2.  If you were going to go on the same odyssey to Alaska, what would be the things that you would take with you to assure your survival?  You may want to check out this link for various survival supplies.  Please chose five items that you would take with you and explain why.

3.  In Ch. 5, Krakauer writes, “McCandless conveniently overlooked the fact that London himself had spent just a single winter in the North and that he’d died by his own hand on his California estate at the age of forty, a fatuous drunk, obese and pathetic, maintaining a sedentary existence that bore scant resemblance to the ideals he espoused in print” (44).  Why is this information important to the reader?  How does it inform the way we see Chris McCandless?



  1. Dustin Carter said,

    March 17, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    If I was going on a trip to Alaska I would bring a flashlight, a wind resistent lighter, a high power rifle, ammunition, and a knife. I would bring the flashlight because it gets very dark at night when there aren’t any streetlights out and at some point in time you might have to go look for something at night, like a animal you had shot right before dark. I would bring a wind resistent lighter for my source of fire. It would have to be wind reistent because the winds get very brutal and without this you wouldn’t be able to start a fire. The high power rifle would be something like a 270 or a 7mm. This would be capable of taking down a bear if you needed to and would also be suitable for deer and other small game. I would bring a lot of ammuntion because if I didn’t have any ammuntion the gun would be useless and I wouldn’t have a source for food. I would bring a knife for various reasons. I would need it to skin the animals that I shot with the gun and also to help build my camp and cut down fire wood.

    Dustin Carter

  2. Mindy Boswell said,

    March 17, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    The statement made by Krakuer in Chap. 5 is important to the reader because it states the truth about Jack London. London is famous for his adventure stories; for example Call of the Wild, which takes place in Alaska. When reading a book authors’ has a way of influencing the reader to take the journey with them. McCandless on the other hand wanted to make the adventures a reality. However, I do not believe he stopped to consider the fact that Jack London never even experienced the adventures he wrote about, they were all fiction. Therefore, it is important that Krakauer bring out the fact that Jack London merely turned out to be an alcoholic, never really experiences the fantasies he wrote about.
    This influences my opinion of McCandless that he wanted to perhaps live a childhood fantasy. The book points out he never had a good relationship with his parents, and perhaps he didn’t have a real childhood. Many children wish to live the fantasies they read or see on T.V. of being princesses or super heroes. I think McCandless wanted to live out this fantasy; he never stopped to consider that the stories he was reading were simply fiction. In a way I think it was spontaneous that he actually went out and tried to accomplish this fantasy. Many times as adults we talk about what we would like to do but have too many obligations and priorities to actually fulfill them.
    -Mindy Boswell
    English 1101/CRN 1736

  3. Ester Maxwell said,

    March 17, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    I felt that McCandless kept refusing money, clothes and aid because if he should take these things from people it would take away the person he wants to become. As we read he doesn’t want to belong to anything nor anybody. He wants to be in the wild and free to do as he please with no help. He wants people to look at him as they would the authors that wrote the books he read. He wants to only belong to the wilderness and not to society nor to the idea of being a person with a life beyond the life of the wild. For him society was treacheries and he wanted no part of the society that we live in today. He believed it was wrong to be made to pay taxes and follow the law made by man. The fact that you had to be the way the world wanted you to be didn’t fit with him at all. To him he didn’t need to take a bath nor change clothes everyday. This way he didn’t do what society wanted him to do nor did he act in the way society would have you to act. But through all of this he was a hard worker and the people that he meet during his travel was very impressed by him and enjoyed him during his stay with them. He left a very memorable impression on those that meet him during their time with him.

    Ester Maxwell
    Class 1736

  4. Mayra Garcia said,

    March 17, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    If I were to go to Alaska the five things that I would take would be the following; a survival rescue knife, smart kit with first aide, compass, thick clothing, and lots of blankets. First of all I would take the rescue knife so that when I go hunting for fish or anything other kind of animal I can have something to cut it up with. And it would also make it easier for me to cook. The smart kit with first aide would help because the smart kid comes with matches, food, candles, and the first aide kit. So it comes with all the essentials to keep me alive for about a week without me having to go out and look for my own food. And incase I got hurt or cut I would have the first aide kit to clean the wound up so that it won’t get infected. The compass is very important because incase I wonder off to far I can find myself back to were I was with the compass. Thick clothing is also very important because the weather in Alaska is crucial and without keeping warm my body could just go into shock and I die. Or I could also get frost bite and I wouldn’t like to loose any part of my body.

  5. Linda Felbaum said,

    March 17, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    After reading several chapters of Into the Wild, I believe that Chris refused help of any kind because of the money and influence that he was brought up with. He liked the work and honing the skill of making a lot of money, but to him, having a lot of money and spending it on oneself was unheard of. He was a very big supporter of feeding the hungry in his hometown. He would take his friends into the worst parts of town and show them what he does on his Friday nights. He would go around and talk with all of the homeless, hungry people. He would make them feel less invisible in giving them his attention. He would then go to a fast food place and get as many hamburgers as he could buy and distribute them amongst the street people. This shows me that he had a big heart and wanted to give to others, but would not allow this same generosity to be bestowed upon him. It is almost as if he felt guilty for having all of the money he had. What I don’t understand is that he watched his parents work very hard for years and years to earn the money that they had. It did not come easy. But when his family started to enjoy the fruits of their labor, he completely became offended. He felt forced to go to college. He took every opportunity to disappear, alone, to far away places, taking him further and further away from the society he detested. I think that this alone time and the distance from his family turned him into a different person. He did not like who he was so he was just going to be someone else.

    Linda Felbaum
    CRN 1736

  6. Natalia Gaviria said,

    March 17, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    In the chapters four through six, we learn that McCandless constantly denies or refuses aid from any of the people that offer to feed, house him or offer supplies for his odysseys. He had this civil disobedient mentality where he knew that he was not going to follow any rules that the society imposed him. I believe that the reason why he refused the aid from those that gratefully wanted to give him a hand, was so he could prove himself and society that he could survive even though he had to live on the streets, work really hard and not depend on money. He had this idealistic mentality, that allowed him to have the next destination planned out and layout the plan of how he would survive once he got there.

    Chris wanted to overcome and ignore those that possibly wanted for him to depend on or impose his will of wanted to follow this journey that at times he felt as if he couldn’t make it but it was to late turn back. He left his new jobs without notice; he didn’t bathe or socialized with anyone unless he knew that that was the right time and place for him. I believe that his disobedience had a lot to do with the way that his parents treated him especially his father. Always told what to do, couldn’t make his own decisions since his dad had so much control of his educational and at times Chris’s personal time. Freedom was a door to happiness for him, even though he lacked common sense for the most practical things that he needed to survive he still kept his morals, very respectful and make sure to not let anyone that helped him think that he was taking advantage of them.

    Natalia Gaviria
    CRN 1736

  7. Dustin Melton said,

    March 17, 2008 at 7:01 pm

    There are many necessities when going on an adventure into the wilderness. Some things you may or may not need according to how good of an outdoorsman you are. For example, some people might need a lighter instead of a flint rock to start a fire. Other people might prefer to bring a supply of food instead of packing lighter and hunting and fishing for their meals. In my mind, I know a few items that would definitely be essential to surviving in the wild.
    A sharp knife with a cold steel blade would definitely be a must. With a knife you can do so many things to keep yourself alive in a life threatening moment. You would be able to cut tree branches to build shelter or to cut kindling to build a fire. Fending off wild animals would be another suitable situation that a knife would come in handy.
    A sleepy bag that would be rated to keep you warm in the coldest temperatures. Not only would it keep you warm but keep all of the bugs out when you need somewhere to rest. Having something to keep the sun off of you in the hot summer sun to avoid a bad sun burn.
    A flint rock would be another ideal tool for successfully conquering my quest. IT would be very light and would never run out of fuel like a lighter would. I could use it to start a fire to boil some water from the creek to purify it. It would also be helpful if I ever got stranded and needed to make smoke signals by starting a fire.
    A light but very versital firearm would be another thing that would be a good idea. A gun would just make me feel alot safer when encountering animals and strangers in the forest. A gun would also help you with food by hunting small game such as squirrels or rabbits that could easily and quickly be cooked.
    Many people have their own ideas of what they would bring into the wilderness. Some would never even think about it because they just don’t like going camping. No matter what you bring, always have a plan of attack and be ready to face the toughest situations.

    Dustin Melton
    English 1101
    Prof. Jewell

  8. Alex Seburn said,

    March 17, 2008 at 7:03 pm

    One thing that did make me scratch my head, was the fact that McCandless kept refusing aid. At the very beginning of the book, he was offered a trip to get him more reliable gear for Alaska, but he refused. Gallien also tried to talk him out of it, by saying that there was nothing to hunt and he would probably get eaten by a bear. He just seemed so sure that he knew what he was doing and that his way was the right way. He told Franz about a job that he wanted, and Franz offered him as much money as he needed. He refused the money then also.
    I think the reason for this was that he wanted to do everything on his own and be totally independent. That was probably the reason he went out there in the first to prove that he did not need his parents. I still think of this guy as smart, but without common knowledge. Personally, I have seen people just like him (book smart without common sense). The only difference is that none of them wandered into the wild like he did. I also think that deep down, he always wanted to explore or at least go camping. His controlling father probably never sanctioned Alex’s desire, therefore causing him to react the way he did. The truth is I don’t this that bizarre because I believe there are plenty of people in this world that are just like him. It’s just the process of mixing one of those types of people with a poor childhood, that will form such strange behavior.

  9. Casey Willis said,

    March 17, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    After reading chapters four through seven you are able to understand his thinking a little more. In chapter four his car gets stuck so he drains the battery and burns $125 to ashes now I don’t understand his actions here but, he doesn’t want anyone to find him so he hides all of his evidence in the ground. He was brought up with having what his parents wanted and, was probably going to for forever and it wasn’t what he wanted. He would go months without work or meeting people on the road like he did with Frans. He gave him a shelter, food and a little bit of money. Frans actually want to almost adopt him as his own, he was such a likeable guy but, when he said that Alex said felt that he had to leave. He couldn’t get close to anyone and when they did he would pack up go back out on the road.
    He would get a job every once in a while but like to get things on his own. It was very rare that he would take a hand out from anyone. There were a few times that he asked for help but, they were ever so often. I think that it was something that he thought that he had to do on his own and experience things that he had only read about. I still can’t see why he wouldn’t take the hand outs at certain times but, would at others. It was like at point he was thinking clear and understood that he needed these things and at other times we wasn’t.

    CRN 1736

  10. Amy Thornton said,

    March 17, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    Amy Thornton

    The readers are given the impression through conversations and writings that Chris McCandless refused monetary and material gifts from the characters he met along the way. We are asked to believe he had “ideals” and those very ideals did not allow him to accept these things. The impression is invisibly planted that he did this because he was such an honest and humble human being. I disagree.

    Chris McCandless did not want to feel obligated to anyone or anything, accepting gifts would make him feel dependent. Chris set out to prove to the world that he could survive without any intervention. To say that was the only reason he refused gifts would make him simplistic and he was anything but simplistic.

    There are so many contradictions, he accepts a fairly expensive dinner from one man, but he won’t accept used clothing. We are asked to rationalize chapter after chapter insane behavior; Chris burns his money, then he gets a job at McDonalds. All we can do is ask “What is he thinking?”
    Reading more of this book leads to only more questions. He just left his journal, abandoned his car, because he got angry? There are some things we can say with certainty about Chris McCandless; he survived for a long time on very little, he never hurt anyone along the way, and he never gave up on his journey. He is a man that had many facets that we may only speculate and never truly understand.

  11. Jonathan Miles said,

    March 17, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    I believe that McCandless’ act of refusing aid, burning his money and abandoning his car are an expression of freedom. He is showing the world that he is not going to let anyone or anything control him or the choices he makes. He eventually, and begrudgingly, has to find a way to generate an income by taking odd jobs but is usually a last resort.
    I believe that he was a selective idealist. He went along with the idea of living off the land but his main staple was rice, which he bought at the store. Also, since he was such a well versed individual, you would think that McCandless knew that Jack London was not the idealistic man he was thought to be. Knowing that, why would someone blindly follow a man who lived a lie?
    I also believe that he was trying to re-write his life by changing his name and living in a manner that is exactly opposite from the way in he was raised. Writing about his adventures in third person, is a clear example of this. “In great frustration, he screams and beats canoe with oar. The oar breaks. Alex has one spare oar.” (36)
    At first glance, I would think that he is an egomaniac or maybe suffering from multiple personality disorder, but I do not think that is the case. I think he is someone who chooses to believe what he wants no matter how irrational it may appear. As a child, McCandless immersed himself into books to escape the reality which surrounded him. Little did anyone know that this world, which he created, would eventually lead to his demise.

    Jonathan Miles

  12. kelley Mcwhorter said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Question 1:
    It is weird to me that “Alex” will accept foods and items like boots and jackets, but in the end he never keeps them and will never aceept money. He works these jobs and gets paid but never takes the money, only for time to pass til he starts complaining again about not having money. I think he that after a certain period of time passes while he is in the wild by himself he starts to realize he almost can’t survive and needs money. Then, after some time passes and he has worked to make some money and made relationships with people he leaves again with none of his earned possesions and won’t accept any help. The only explanation I have at this point is that he is a very confusing and manipulating person, and because of that is unable to form or accept when people want to be involved in his life or have a relationship with him. I think he gets scared and runs away back into the wild to escape from society as if he can’t handel being a member of the civilized life.

  13. Hilary Bragg said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    There are many different reasons for the way McCandless acts. It can be either that as a young child, he was neglected by someone important in his life or that he feels a loss of connection with peers because he didn’t get along with others when he was a boy. Both of these ideas would cause him to act the way he does. One thing I just cant figure out is why he burns his money. What is so bad about this money that he gives it away and burns it? Instead of using the tools he can to help him survive, he loses most of his hiking materials, burns his money, and has to get jobs (which he repeatedly gets fired from for things such as not showering, or behaving rudely towards other people). Maybe this money was earned in a bad way or that someone gave him this money that he is no longer close to. Another thing that makes me wonder is why is he so angry at society? I feel that in some ways he is looking for attention, since maybe he didn’t receive it when he was younger. Maybe he feels he needs some sort of attention, therefor he gets it from people who want to be able to not “care” about money, or unnecessary things. He may be filling this void by showing others that just because you have money does not mean that you will be happy.

  14. Robert Epps said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    In Into the Wild Chris refuses many gift offers from people. The gift he always refuses though is money. He will not take money as a gift from anybody. This is very odd because he does accept other kinds of gifts. From Franz, he accepts a machete, fishing pole, artic clothes, a steak and lobster dinner, as well as other things. He refuses a monetary gift from Jan and Bob but takes several knives from them with the suggestion from Jan that he may be able to trade them. He also burns or gives away money when he has it, only to turn around and seek work to earn money when he doesn’t have it. He seems to have an idea of what a great, adventurous person should live like, but keeps running into snags and finding loopholes that go against his own ideals.
    It is very odd that Chris wont accept monetary gifts but will accept other gifts. A steak and lobster dinner, for example, is something that is considered by most to be extravagant thing. Franz mentions that he would talk angrily about the idiocy of mainstream american life, but then he goes and allows another person to buy him a steak and lobster dinner. This is strange because he contradicts himself, but also because he probably would not have accepted enough money to buy himself a meal at McDonalds with his employee discount. He does, however, allow someone to spend the money to buy him steak and lobster. Chris lives in a fantasy world where he is the supreme being and judge. He pretty much does whatever suits his fancy which many times leaves him in a bit of trouble. That includes somehow separating a gift of enough money to survive on for a few days from a gift of one very expensive meal. Chris most likely was stricken with some sort of mental illness.
    Robert Epps, 1718

  15. Candice Wilson said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    In the story Chris McCandless continues to refuse money and other supplies. I think this is because he feels as though he himself should work for his own money. One example is when he gave away the $25,000 to a charity. It was as though since it was given to him he felt like it was not his and he didn’t want to accept it. Versus the time he had around $1000, which I am assuming he earned from working at McDonalds. Although, it does not state what was done with the money, it does not show where he wasted it either. He is okay with accepting money that he has earned but, will not except anything just given to him. I find it interesting that the supplies he does accept and truly needs for his ‘adventure’ he abandons. It makes me wonder what his mind set is being in the wild. Chris keeps being offered things to survive but he does not accept them, he has practically nothing to live on.

    CRN: 1718

  16. Lauren Smith said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    After reading several chapters of Into the Wild I definitely have come to the conclusion that I would never go on such an extreme and bizarre excursion. McCandless assumes the role of an “outdoors man” even though he obviously doesn’t seem well prepared at all. If I were in the same situation as McCandless, which apparently would never happen, I would ensure that I had the following supplies packed: cell phone, credit card, cash, flashlight, and RV. There is no way that I would actually fend for myself in the wilderness. I have been on enough camping trips to discover that “roughing it” is definitely not for me. Not taking a shower and eating hotdogs cooked over a fire for three days is enough adventure for me.

    Lauren Smith
    CRN 1718
    Question #2

  17. Madison Davis said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    If I were traveling on an odyssey to Alaska, I would be sure to pack a few essentials. I would bring extra coats to keep warm against the harsh Alaskan weather. I would also pack the Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent. I would hope to not die a tragic death due to a bear attack. While exploring and searching for food, a hard hat with 5 LED light would be very helpful. I would also be sure to bring a Mega Brite dynamo flashlight w/ NOAA weather band. The flashlight would provide me with a source of light during the pitch-black nights and the weather band would warn me if band weather was coming my way. Lastly, I would not forget to pack a set of lighters. The lighters would provide the flame to start a fire during the cold, communication to others, and a fire to cook over. An Alaskan odyssey insists to be well prepared and with my items, I will be.

    Madison Davis

  18. Dianna Singleton said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    If I were to go into the wild the five items I would take with me would be a cell phone, a good size bag of food, lighter, warm clothing, and a companion.
    I would take a cell because if I had an emergency to where I wanted to be rescued from I would like to have it handy. I wouldn’t turn it on unless I wanted to be rescued or had a dire emergency.
    I would take the food so I wouldn’t starve to death. I would eat rationally. I would also try the best of my ability to hunt also but if that did not work out I would stick with my bag of goodies.
    I would take a lighter to make sure I would be able to light a fire in case it were to get cold, which I am sure at night it would, most likely.
    I would also take a layer of clothing with me so if the temperature were to drop I would have suitable wear on.
    I would take a companion with me so I wouldn’t feel so alone or if I were to be in some trouble there would be a fifty percent chance that one of us could get away or get help. The companion would not have to be human. I would bring a dog also; dogs are great to have around especially a hunting dog or a watch dog. So if someone were to try and hurt you, or something, the dog would attack them hopefully saving your life in the process!

  19. Noemi Najera said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    1. One of the questions that keeps arising in the reading and discussion of Into the Wild is why McCandless keeps refusing aid (money, clothes, etc.) I want you to speculate why he may have done this. What were his ideals? What were his ideas about society?

    I believe McCandles refused aid (money, clothes, etc.) from people is because he believes within himself he doesn’t need society to be able to survive. Meaning he doesn’t need what a civil person would need on a daily basis of living. His ideal was just what he had in his backpack and on him, but then again, even when he had the money he would burn it. However, he would continue looking for employment to be able to survive; he was obviously not prepared for this journey at all in the emotional side. Just like when he worked for McDonald’s, wearing of the socks, he would take them off immediately when h is shift would be over. Although, he did not like to be under authority in society he would in someway draw him back to it and would have to follow rules.
    I believe he might have had a double personality, one being educated and the other being unstable. His friends were mostly people that were unstable and had some kind of issues in their lives. I believe his world of society he had everything he every wanted, and maybe this journey he planned out was a way of him being rebellious of making a statement of material things is not what makes a person, is who you are that makes you a person. To me he was trying to find himself as a person, and trying to find a father figured he never had, someone who would have listened to him, like his friends did, someone who would have let his son follow his dreams just like his friends, let him follow his journey to Alaska.

    Noemi Najera
    CRN 1718

  20. Ronald Moua said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    If I was to go on the same odyssey to Alaska I would surely bring multiple items with me. Having the right survival equipment or supplies would give me an advantage. Five survival supplies I would take with me is a flare gun, Kiddle Pro Series Fire Extinguisher, Mega Brite Dynamo Flashlight with universal cell phone charger, Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent, and Backpacker Sewing Kit.
    Many reason there are to why I would bring a flare gun, Kiddle Pro Series Fire Extinguisher, Mega Brite Dynamo Flashlight with universal cell phone charger, Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent, and Backpacker Sewing Kit. First of all, if I was to ever need to be saved I would use a flare gun and hope for someone to rescue me. By having a Kiddle Pro Series Fire Extinguisher I could take out fire immediately without the use of water or my clothes getting burned. I would bring a Mega Brite Dynamo Flashlight with universal cell phone charger because without a flashlight I would not be able to see at night. Many thing could happen to night and without a flashlight I would not be able to see. The Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent would help out a lot due to he fact if I was to face a bear which could happen since I am in the wilderness. Lasty, with a backpacker Sewing Kit i would never have to carry my supplies by hand if my bag was to get torn or tear up.


  21. Chris Zywica said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Option #1
    I think Chris McCandless is trying to be something he is not. He wants to distance himself from society, yet he is constantly turning to it when the times get tough. There are many people out there that want to be away from the buzz of mainstream life and who are able stick to their goal. They are not the most savory people in society, but they constantly stay away from other people and normal life. McCandless, I think, is putting on a show for the people he comes across during his adventures. He enjoys the idea that he is this righteous, independent soul who just wanders the earth with or nobody to answer to. However, as shown time and time again, he has to rely on the very thing he is constantly rebelling against to survive. If he really wanted to get away from it all, he would have settled down somewhere, lost all of his manufactured possessions and lived strictly off the land. No going to work at McDonalds when money is needed, no fifty mile hitchhike rides, and absolutely help from other people. In the end, my opinion of Chris McCandless is that he is a hypocrite to the very message he is preaching.

  22. Dawn Vickers said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    First off I would never take a trip into the wilderness of Alaska! Who wants to be cold all the time? If I did take this trip there would be several things I would like to take with me. Knowing that I can only take five things with me would be a very hard task. I think that the items would be a very warm sleeping bag, a package of lighters, a container that can hold water, a weapon, and a small supply of food staples.
    I would take the small supply of food for the first couple of days, until I am settled and know what the area around will have to eat. That first day I might not be able to go hunting or fishing to get my food source. I will need the lighters to start the fire for light in the evening and to cook the food that I will find. The container to hold water will be needed so that I can have a source for drinking and quick clean up of myself. I will need the weapon for safety and to hunt the food that I will be eating. The warm sleeping bag I will need for sleeping on the cold evenings.
    As I said I would never go on this trip but if I did I would hope that these few items would help me survive for a couple of days.
    Dawn Vickers
    CRN 1718

  23. Stephanie Williams said,

    March 18, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Question 3:

    I believe that Chris McCandless, though intrigued by the writings of Jack London, was not at all familiar with the writer himself. Then again, maybe he was very familiar with London. Chris had this big idea, which he may have researched through fiction novels, but was not at all prepared for the reality of the journey. He refers to London in several writings along his path, but once again, those writings are about fictitious events and not from London’s own experience.

    At this point in Into the Wild, I feel that McCandless is very unstable minded. I feel that his journey is a way for him to rebel against whatever emptiness or fears he may have at this point in his life. He consumes himself with the company of those who have emotional problems or who have encountered emotional distress themselves. As if he is feeding off of their emotional imperfections. I feel that it may be a way for him to relate to them; yet, I wonder if he befriends them to shadow his own shortcomings and insecurities. I also wonder if he shadows the experiences of Jack London for the same reason. For example, in chapter seven he writes to Jan and Bob, “Take care, it was great knowing you” (69). Did McCandless not plan to return? I have so many questions that have yet to be answered and I hope to find those answers in the chapters to come.

    Stephanie Williams
    English 1101, CRN 1718
    March 18, 2008

  24. Amanda Cronan said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    It makes me see Chris as a misinformed young man. He was choosing to live his life by a set of ideals that was publicized by a person who was nothing like those ideals. His idol was a messed up author whose ideas were very catchy to a confused young man. I feel like Jon Krakauer placed these facts into the story for a reason. He is very much attached to the idea that Chris was a mixed-up individual. By using the facts that detailed how bad London lived he made me feel like Chris was being manipulated. Jon Krakauer told us (at the beginning of the novel) that he was not going to be fully detached from that story line, and this is a prime example of that!

    Amanda Cronan
    English 1101
    Class 1727

    Amanda, I really agree with you here. There are definitely multiple sources of influence (if not manipulation) going on here from both sides. It does lend more question to how “innocent” Chris’ death really was.

  25. Ashley weinert said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    If I had to venture out to a cold desolate state like Alaska I would bring a number of things.The list consists of: a box of matches, hunting knife, axe, flashlight, and a goose down comforter. The box of matches would be used for making fires and cooking whatever I kill in order to get sustenance. The hunting knife will assist me in killing either my prey or something that threatens my well being. I would bring the axe for cutting down wood in order to make a fire. It would also be helpful in the slim chance that I get attacked by a bear, or some other creature that can easily over power me. The flashlight would be used for bringing light to the cold dark place we know as Alaska. Also to be very specific it would have to be one of those night stick flashlights so I could fend off attackers with it. Last but not least the goose down comforter will be used to keep me warm. The super fluffy contents on the inside will hopefully be enough to warm me through the harsh winter.

    Ashley Weinert

  26. Jessica Davis said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    If I were to take a trip to Alaska the 5 items that I would pack are: A gun equipped with ammunition, a flashlight, food, appropriate clothing, and a first aid kit.

    I would bring the gun of course to scare of bear or any animal that was bigger than me. And I would also use it to kill animal if needed. Now whether I eat the animal is a whole different story (I think raw meat is rather gross and I don’t have a lighter so I can’t start a fire to cook the animal).

    I would have the flashlight for night time just in case I wanted to continue hiking through the snow rather than resting. Or if I came upon a cave that I thought I might like to check out or sleep in. I would need to go in and check it out before I just made camp.

    I believe the appropriate clothing would be very thick clothes. Like thick ski jackets and pants along with some lots of pairs of “long johns”. You can never put on to many clothes when you’re going hiking through Alaska.

    A first aid kit is necessary for obvious reasons. You can’t see through the snow so it’s possible that you step on a sharp edge or anything and cut your foot open. Or maybe you are bitten by an animal and needed to clean it and get it covered immediately so it doesn’t get infected.

    CRN 1721

  27. Melissa Jones said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    3. I think it’s significant to state this because its like Chris is jumping head first into this and he doesn’t even know all of the facts. He was intrigued by London since he was younger and its like he made it up in his mind a long time ago that he wants to be just like London, when London was not what he perceived himself to be. Chris wanted to go to the wild and survive, I believe just to see if he could do it. It’s like he was looking up to London when he should have gotten the whole story and really planned for what he was about to do. If he would have really thought it out and looked at London’s life I don’t think he would have taken this journey. Because in the end “his idol” couldn’t even finish this mission. Or maybe he had learned about London’s life and he just wanted to see if he could survive. Who knows, I just think it wasn’t a dumb thing to do he was just not looking at the whole picture. He seems like the type of person who does what they want at the moment and worries about the consequences later. He just doesn’t seem stable. Taking a trip like that was really drastic and not very smart at all.
    Melissa Jones

    I definitely think you have a good point about how Chris was probably the person that maybe was more concerned with the moment and thought about the consequences later. I find it especially hard to believe, in fact, that as such an educated person he wouldn’t have known any of the biographical info about London or let that info sway his ideals!

  28. Chasiti Walden said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    Option 1:

    Chris McCandless refuses aid from just about everyone. I think that he does this because he doesn’t want help from anyone, that he wants do it on his own. I think that sometimes he realizes that he does need people in his life to help him out every once in a while. There are a few instances where he does take the aid, but then turns around and gets rid of it. He is very independent and set in his ways. He doesn’t want people to take care of him and give him what he needs. Chris wants to rebel from our society and make it on his own without ever needing anyone. He doesn’t like emotional attachments and maybe he refuses the aid because he doesn’t want any attachment. He doesn’t want anything that could keep him emotionally attached. Maybe he thinks that the aid could keep him emotionally bound to whoever gave him the aid. Maybe he wanted to prove to our society that man could live without all of the material items. He wants so much to prove to everyone that he can live without the material items and still have a somewhat happy life.

  29. Renee Banks-Seawell said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    I believe that the events recorded in Chapter 5 are very telling of the contrast between the personality of Chris McCandless and Alex. Although they are the same person, it seems to me that there are two different personalities at work. Alex seems to be a dreamer, an idealist. He apparently idolizes Jack London, taking to heart every account in his book about life in the wild. He completely overlooks the fact that Jack London committed suicide at the age of 40 and was an obese drunkard. I believe that “Alex” was so caught up in the romance of living off the land and in the wild that he chose to pay no attention to the facts that London hadn’t actually lived in the wild for an extended time.

    As for Chris, the character seems to come back to “reality” at times, realizing that he needs money and supplies. He gets a job at McDonalds and is said to be trustworthy and dependable. He even consideres getting and ID and starting a savings account but quits his job when confronted by his supervisor about not wearing socks and not bathing.

    I believe that Krakauer gives us information on Chris’ “normal” behavior because he wants us to believe that he is sane and just a romantic when it comes to the ideal of living off the land. It is easy to look at the actions of Chris or “Alex” and think that he has some definate mental issues but at times he does seem realistic.

    I also find it interesting the way that Krakauer allows us insight into the way Chris’ peers saw him as they worked with him and lived with him. Some seem to find him quite charming and educated while other’s say he was moody and a loner. It’s difficult to understand why a college educated young man like Chris would choose to work at a McDonalds. I believe that this is evidence of his not caring about accumulating material things but realizing that it took money to survive. However when he would go back into his “Alex” personality he always seemed to burn his money and rid himself of anything excess that he thought he had.

    Up to this point, I’m not certain as to whether Chris thought that he was leaving to never return or if he thought he was on a wonderful journey from which he would return a better person.

  30. Juan Gomes said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    If I were to abandon civilization and live in the wild, I would make sure that I have some knowledge or skills to help me survive in the wild. I would take an emergency survival kit in case I get injured. I would also take a month worth of food bars as a back up in case that I can not find any food in the wilderness. I would make sure that I had enough water stored to avoid dehydration. Finally, I would take appropriate clothing to keep myself dry and warm.

    Juan Gomes
    English 1101/CRN 1727

  31. Yvette Allison said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    In chapters four through seven we learn more about Chris and his desire to live his way and not allow anyone to have a say in his future. He refuses money because he wants to live off the land and not live by society rules. But in the same sense, he gets a job so that he has money. He also refuses help from the people he has met along the way. Its like he doesn’t want to be indebted to anyone. He accepts a few offers of clothes and supplies, but also leaves stuff behind or buries it. When he does have money he burns it and then has to get some type of job to get more money to purchase food or other items for his trip to Alaska.

    Reading these four chapters does give us a little more insight to Chris’ mental state, in my opinion. When he is with Westerberg he seems at home, even going dancing at the local club. He opens up to these strangers he meets along the way, more than he does any of his school friends or his sister, who he is very close to. After reading about his time with Franz, you almost see the father/son relationship that he was missing with his own father. He allows Franz and Westerberg to have a little piece of his personal life and when he realizes how close he is becoming is when he leaves. He doesn’t want to share his world with anyone and he doesn’t want anyone to interfere with his plans. By allowing someone to give him money, food, or supplies, I believe, to Chris it is allowing them to have some type of control on what he is doing. He refuses to allow anyone to control his adventure

    Yvette Allison
    CRN # 1727

    Yes, it’s very odd that he seems to really want to be around Westerburgh and that whole crew, and he feels most at home there even. But yet he still has this unflinching need to leave.

  32. Gilberto Nanclares said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    For a trip to Alaska I would bring many things in order to have a safe trip. First of all, I would bring a nice tent in order to sleep well and have a lot of energy for my odyssey; I would also bring good clothing to keep my self warm under any bad weather conditions. I would also bring a big rifle to hunt for food. It would also be a good idea to take a big knife to prepare my food. Also I would bring a source of fire like matches or a lighter. I would also bring to my trip to Alaska a very detail map so I will not get lost anywhere. It would be very important for me to take some time to think of all the things that I would need to go to a place like Alaska.

    Gilberto Nanclares
    English 1101, CRN 1727

  33. Maria Elia Hernandez said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    I think that McCandless was a person with a person. He had very weird or unique ideals outside our normal range of thinking. The civilization that he made for himself was no where near what we consider normal or ideal. McCandless was a very stubborn, idealistic young man who wanted to face nature in his own harsh terms. McCandless issues with money and cloth for me is just the iceberg of what his real inner ghosts were. I believe his family had a lot to do with these back and forth changes he made through his into the wild journey. McCandless believed it was wrong to follow the law as it was. Taxes was one of many thing he was against. He wanted nothing to do with society but then after mishandling his money he had to turn around and work for money which he needed at times to keeping functioning in his own world. I am looking forward to finding an answer to all the questions I have about his behavior. At times I believe he might be bipolar. We’ll see where McCandless short live takes him and try to figure out why he lived it the way he did.

  34. TIFFANY MAJORS said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Tiffany Majors
    English 1101
    CRN 1727
    Option # 3
    I believe that Chris should have done some more research instead of just relying on Jack London the author of White Fang and his arctic tales before he decided to travel to Alaska. Jack London was some obese man who had not done hardly any of what he wrote about (he only spent one winter there), yet Chris was determined to go on an odyssey through Alaska. It shows that this author was not a reliable source for Chris to follow. It makes me wonder if Chris had some type of mental problem because if he was as smart as people say he was, he should have been better prepared. If I was going on a trip to Alaska I would go online and do research about what types of food and drinks I could bring that would sustain me for the length of my stay. I would buy the proper clothing including coats and boots. I would also search for what type of animals, plants, and other things I could eat if my food supply just so happened to run out. I feel sorry for Chris because he actually did not use his brain to the full.

  35. Maria F Diaz said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    If I decided to go to Alaska, It would have to be at the beginning of spring and for no more than 3 months. It will be impossible to live in Alaska during the summer because of the mosquito population. I would never go on a trip like that so unprepared the way McCandless did. The five important supplies that I would bring in order for survival would be a riffle and ammunitions, rice or soups, a lighter and thermic sleeping bag.

    The first item that I would take would be the riffle and ammunitions in order to protect myself from wild animals; it is also a way to find a source of food. The second item that would help me to survive would be rice or soup because it is easy to cook, and would help my body to keep it warm. The third supply would be a lighter in order to cook. And the last item is a thermic sleeping bag to keep my body warm while sleeping. All these items would help me to survive in Alaska for at least a few days while food last.

    Maria F. Diaz
    CRN 1727

  36. Angela Patterson said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    English 1101/1727

    If I were to go on an Alaskan odyssey, the five major survival items that I would take would be: arctic clothing, hunting and protection aid, food, compass, and tent. I think that these are essential to surviving in the wilderness. You should plan your trip according to research and common sense of the real world also. The arctic clothing is basically a necessity for maintaining body warmth throughout the rigid temperatures. You should also make sure that you have a well insulated tent, for those windy nights. A person can’t survive alone with just the clothes they have on their backs, especially in the Alaskan terrain. A form of isolated shelter is much needed.
    I would be certain to have some sort of directional guidance, preferably a compass. You should know your direction so that you don’t accidently repeat your same path without knowing. This will prevent you from having to stay on your journey longer and possibly keep you from placing yourself within harms way. I don’t feel as though Alex was wise in this area, although he always remembered his locations of where he would hide things.
    It is also very important to have a good ratio of food, or at least a means of hunting for food, and; a source of self protection. You should be able to hunt for food if you run out, or protect yourself against wild animals. If you don’t have any source to start a fire, then you should have some knowledge of how to use the wilderness to start a fire. This skill will help you with food preparation, as well as keeping you warm. It could also serve as a form of protection; it could scare away wild animals. I honestly don’t want to have to survive in the wild, but I feel as if I had to then I would at least know the essentials of what I should take.

  37. Kaye Cox said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Kaye Cox
    English 1101 CRN#1727
    Jessica Jewell
    Option #3

    As Krakauer writes about London, and the fact that he never experienced the idealist lifestyle Chris is living, makes me wonder about Chris’s mental capacity. Chris has chosen to block out the fact that he is reading a work of fiction, by an obese, pathetic drunk, who killed himself. I am sure as much as Chris has read of Jack London, he has came across these facts. To idealize his stories and completely ignore these facts is insane to me. The fact of this information is to let readers know about the author of the story Chris idolizes. People like to read stories and escape reality for a period of time. There are not many people who would make a drastic lifestyle change without knowledge of someone succeeding in such a way. People read self-help stories in hopes of improving their life, or books on how to make money, and even how to find themselves. These stories are written by authors with experience in the subject to show it can be done. There is reality to the stories and less fiction.

  38. Ismael Navarro CRN 1727 said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Ismael Navarro JR

    ?. If you were going to go on the same odyssey to Alaska, what would be the things that you would take with you to assure your survival?

    If I was to go to Alaska, I think the five things I would take would have to be, a First Aid Kit, a Tent for shelter and a Sleeping Bag to keep me worm at night, Food, something for protection like a knife, and a survival book.
    A first aid kit is important because no one knows when they could get injured. It does not have to be a large kit. Just one that has all the essentials like bandages, medication, ice packs, and other things that can come in handy out in the outdoors.
    A tent and sleeping bag are important in Alaska it can get really cold at night; much worst that at day time. So having something to keep you worm is important.
    No one can live with out food. So taking enough food is very important. Something more important that food is water. Something for protection and something for survival is also important for some one that has no experience in the outdoors of Alaska.

  39. Raquel Hill said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    After reading Chapters 1 thru 7, I still do not understand McCandless. It confused me in every chapter about his ideals. However, I think that the main reason why he refused aid was his parents. He was so mad at his parents during childhood and adolescence. He might want to prove a point that he could have a better life without society and all the material around him. I think that is the reason he burned his money and went on a journey with anything. Besides, every time he gets money or something he burned or buried again and had to start over again. He really wanted to prove that he could be able to make it without any of those things. Living with his parents or relative taught something different about society and he did not want to be part of it. He might have bad experience about society during childhood and adolescence. He had to make up another personality to survive during that time. This new personality grew so strong that when he was an adult he decided to follow his new ideals.

    English 1101
    CRN 1727

  40. John Mcbrayer said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Jon Krakauer makes the statement that Jack London only spent one winter in the North and that he had died by his own hand. He also makes the statement that Jack London “was a fatuous drunk, obese and pathetic, maintaining a sedentary existence that bore scant resemblance to the ideals he espoused in print” (44). Krakauer says that Chris seemed to forget that these were works of fiction, constructions of the imagination. This seems very important to me because I think Chris used these books to rationalize his behavior, and to do this he had to ignore the facts about the author. His ideals were obviously not part of popular culture, so it only makes sense that he would search for authors or others who felt the same, even if he had to ignore the facts. This type of behavior has probably been happening since the beginning of time (seeking out rationalizations, justifications, or others who agree), so I really don’t find it to be odd. The Bible could be used to justify all sorts of dysfunctional behavior, and it is used for that purpose. Many atrocities have happened over the centuries in the name of the God of the Bible. One can justify and rationalize anything.

    John Mcbrayer
    English 1101 / CRN1727

    John, excellent use of evidence here. Also, I’m glad that you made the connection/argument about how texts are often used to justify behavior, regardless of how rational. Nice job.

  41. Landon Mcdonnell said,

    March 18, 2008 at 5:52 pm

    In the story, Into the Wild, Chris seems to be undergoing a slow transformation. He starts his journey with a car, money, identification, and supplies, but he loses his car do to uncontrollable events. This seems to put his quest into overdrive because he then burns his identification and money. Once he leaves his car he starts out not wanting to receive any help through things like money.
    He eventually receives various items throughout the book but not in money form. He is offered food by various people and takes it. He even earns his own money, but will become reinvigorated by his ideals. He then burns his money. Food is ok for him to take, but money is not. Ultimately he relies on people for food. When he eventually gets to Alaska he runs out of food and then starves to death. This is also the time he complete runs out of human contact. Whether we like it or not we ultimately depend on other people for survival. He finally sees this and he does not agree. Whether he meant to or not this knowledge is what kills him.

    CRN 1727
    Landon McDonnell

    It’s a very interesting point–that ultimately his knowledge kills him. We’ve spent so much time talking about what he DIDN’T know, but haven’t talked yet about how the fact that he was an educated man who was influenced by these adventure-texts played a role in his formulation of the idea to go to Alaska in the first place. Nice job.

  42. Jonathan Poff said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:46 pm

    I would take an AR-15 assault rifle, lots of ammunition, sharp knives, a bag full of clothes, and a compass. I would take the high power assault rifle because no animal will survive from being shot by it. I’d bring lots of ammunition because to kill animals, such as bears, I’ll need bullets. I’d take sharp knives so I could gut and cook the animals that I’ve caught or shot. I’d also have the knives to cut anything else that needed to be cut. I’d have a bag full of clothes incase something happens to what I was wearing. For example, they could get wet, torn, or ripped so I’d have spares to keep my body warm and protected. I’d have a compass so I’d know where I was going. If I was going north, east, south, or west so that I could find the ocean or other parts of Alaska that I needed to find.

    Jonathan Poff 1735

  43. Allison Brock said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    McCandless did not always refuse help. Sometimes he would say no at first and then he would relent. I am not sure why he would ever give in though. He wanted to be free from society. He wanted to not be constrained by rules. He didn’t let himself get close to anyone and by accepting donations and help, he would feel indebted. By accepting charity he would not be filling this wild-man, do it all by myself ideal he had in his head. But like I said, at times he did accept things like rides and supplies and food. He would go back into the society that he hated and get a job when he needed money. I am still not sure why he did that. I am definitely thinking along the lines of him being mentally ill. He seemed to be two different people. He would flip-flop on whether or not is was o.k. to accept help. Or maybe when it really got tough, he just gave in. I am still trying to figure that one out.

    Allison Brock
    CRN 1735

  44. Brittany Spallone said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:52 pm

    If I were to take the same odyssey as McCandless and could only bring five survival supplies with me they would be a tent, food, clothing, a pot, and a knife. The most important thing to have in order to survive is food. With out food you will become very weak; also at times it might be very hard to hunt for food in the wilderness. I would bring a tent for shelter to protect me from the different weather conditions. Clothing is another thing I would want to have. When living in the wild you never know if it is going to be hot or cold and you don’t want to be prepared. A knife will come in hand for a few things; protection, hunting food, cutting limbs and the list goes on. Now, I know your thinking that a pot is a weird thing to bring but instead of carrying around jugs of water, when you make a fire you can retrieve water from a nearby river and boil the water for drinking water. One other thing I would bring but is not need in order to survive is a picture of my family. They are very important to me and would want them close to me.

    Brittany Spallone
    CRN 1735

  45. Jason Simms said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    In the chapters I have read so far, I felt like Chris wanted to be free from society at times and at other time by part of society. He refused to take money or aid from people because he wanted to free to live by his plan that he had come up with. That plan was to live by his rules and they way he wanted. He did want to be told what he could and could not do, like his father use to do to him.
    I feel like Chris did not care that much for society because he knew people did not care what type of person he truly was because they only saw the outside of him not the inside person he was. Just like when he work at McDonald’s, he was a hard worker but everyone made fun of him because of his clothes and the way he smelled. We someone did get close to him he would leave or if he would receive something from someone in society he would realize that would not fit in with his plan and would either burn it or bury it. By doing this he would not let anyone control his plan.

  46. Catherine Daniels said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Catherine Daniels
    English 1101
    March 18, 2008

    In the story Into the Wild, Chris McCandless often refuses money, aid, as well as shelter. He often seems like the type of person who is independent and can survive on his own. For myself I often sway to both sides when it comes to why sometimes he takes help and other times he does not.

    After reading and gathering my own thoughts about Chris McCandless I began to feel that he often alters his choices of whether to accept help and aid. At one point in the story he finds a canoe and decides to head out to sea. Not knowing that he would get lost further down after traveling so long did Chris McCandless get help; although, before he got his canoe he would seldom take help from people. Another incident of him often trying to not count on anyone but himself he encountered a relationship with a man named Franz. Although in the beginning of their relationship they often clashed, but as they spent more quality time together, they both began to grow into a friendship. Chris McCandless often would hitch hike into Salton City where Franz lived and he would do his laundry here as well as he would get fed by Franz.

    When I encountered these chapters of where he got help it almost makes me think he is unsure of what he really wants. He often makes it on his own in the wild when it comes to hiking and scavenging for food, but he is often picked up by a person who wants to offer him a job as well as food and money. These things are what makes society work. Everyone depends upon a job to make them money in order for one to feed themselves and to make a living. Although, Chris McCandless does not agree with the way society works, he often falls back into the realm of it all until he gets scratchy feet for him to become a hitch hiker.

    Yeah it seems weird because while he wants to rebuke society, he often has to re-enter it to get by, though he seems to take nothing from the experience of having to go back in. Perhaps he is using society. Which really isn’t a subversion at all, as that’s what we’re supposed to do in some ways!

  47. Renee Newport said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Throughout the book so far McCandless consistently refuses financial and survival aid from people. He wanted to prove to others and to himself that he didn’t need all the luxuries of society. He didn’t need money or a car or spare clothes. Society was nothing but a place of rules and regulations that he had no desire in following. McCandless left behind his identity that was given to him by society and began to establish a new one. One that he felt was less personal. He buried and abandoned his belongings and referred to himself as just Alex to show that he doesn’t have to be what society tells him to be. And by accepting material aid from others places him back into society where he feels he doesn’t belong.
    Renee Newport
    CRN 1735

  48. kayla Taylor said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    If I were going on a trip to Alaska I would bring a flashlight, riffle, ammunition, matches, and lots of bread. You definitely need a flashlight to be able to see at night, but you have to be sure not to use it unless it’s an emergency because of the short battery life. A riffle and ammunition is also very important. You need to be able to protect yourself from the wild animals. You can also use the riffle to kill game for to eat. You always need a source for fire, whether it be to keep warm or cook with. Bread would also be a good thing to bring for food.
    One thing that drives me crazy about McCandless is that he keeps refusing assistance from other people who are just trying to help him. I can understand him turning some things down, but not when it could actually really help him out. For example, when Westerberg tried to fly McCandless to Alaska, he turned him down. This was, in my opinion, a stupid decision. He was trying to help him. McCandless does this to many people in the story. Maybe if he would have let people help him a little more things would have turned out differently for him in the end.
    Kayla Taylor

  49. Lucy Terrones said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    In the book Into the Wild, McCandless is offered many times aid, money, shelter, love, clothes, and advice; however, he refuses to accept anything from anyone. In my opinion I think of McCandless, as person who wants the attention of people even though he acts or pretends like he doesn’t. I remember reading in one chapter that he was going to write a story of his journey and hoped it could get published. I think maybe he just wanted to be known around the world for accomplishing what he calls the “Alaska odyssey.” Having that said, He refused any aid from people, I think, because he wants to be known for the person who survived with no money in world. I think he believes one can survive in world without money, such as many people did in the past. Indeed, I believe maybe one can survive with no money; however, one has to be smart and make good decisions to survive. So far what I have read does not determine my full opinion about McCandless, but I consider him with a lack of common sense.

    Lucy Terrones
    English 1101
    CRN 1735

  50. Dana Farmer said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    Dana Farmer

    I feel that McCandless continued to refuse help due to his way of growing up. Everything seemed to be handed to him throughout the years. From the reading, I take that he was just trying to live the opposite lifestyle. He didn’t like the fact there were very wealthy people, yet so many others were going hungry, amongst other problems. Maybe in his mind he wanted to show those around him, including his parents, that he could do without their help. I feel he just wanted to be his own person and he couldn’t really do that being close to anyone, including his parents. This was McCandless’s way of venturing out and creating his new identity. Having money, clothes, etc…handed to him would be just like growing up, and that is exactly what he was running from. I believe he was trying to prove to himself that he could stand on his own two feet and be happy without all of the materialistic things in the world.

    McCandless’s ideas about society were off and on. It states in the book, “He acted like it was hard for him to be around people. I just figured that because he’d spent so much time by himself.”

    He knew how to interact with others, but only on his terms and when he wanted it. He would go out and wander the desert by himself for days upon end, and when he was ready to venture back into society, he would. I feel that McCandless knew what he was doing; he maybe just didn’t know who he was. I think he was searching to try and find himself and possibly the only way how was to separate himself from everything that could possibly be a distraction to him.

  51. Ingried Ramirez said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:56 pm

    In the story into the wild, McCandless creates a different vision of the world. He wants to create his own world and live a society with out being materialistic. He is very moral and refuses to live today’s’ society. I think that he wants to prove a point that we have become a society in which in order to survive we have to follow a routine of working and getting money. In his odyssey he refuses to get money and help from people and I think that the reason is to at least prove himself that it is not necessary to follow society rules to survive. Also his attitude showed that he is very antisocial and this could be maybe because he is afraid of failure, but at the same time I feel that he does this kind of things to see how far he can push himself. I think that he sees his odyssey like a game and thinks that getting money would be like cheating his own game.

    Ingried Ramirez
    English 1101
    CRN# 1735

  52. Brad Birney said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    If I was choosing supplies to take into the wilderness, fire would be at the top of my list as the ultimate multi-function tool. It would serve as safety from predators, a way to cook food, and the obvious way to keep warm in a cold environment. A simple flint would do the trick for me due to it being water proof and good more than a single strike unlike a match or lighter. Secondly, I would like to stay warm, so a good pair of coveralls would be in order. Protection from the elements would be an absolute must for me, especially in the environment of the story in question.

    A good water bottle would also be a luxury in the woods. Water is usually easy to come buy on our continent, but not everywhere. I’ve never heard of there being anything wrong with being too hydrated. Better be safe than sorry, ehh? Fourth on my list would be a 6D LED Maglite. Other than Illuminating dark places, being indestructible, and reliable, they make great weapons. I would rather be on the offense than the defense in a life and death situation.

    Lastly, an EPIRB (Electronic Personal Indication Radio Beacon) would be the last lime of defense. This is a phone sized device that works world wide that in the event of an emergency, you press the button and it emits a signal in which rescue teams look for. The system is monitored 24/7/365 and is only meant to be used in life and death situations.

    Brad Birney
    Eng 1101 #1735

    I need to get one of those EPIRB things just for my drives between here and Athens, which for some reason (even though it’s just about 1 road) I almost always managed to get lost on!

  53. Jessica Dowdle said,

    March 18, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Jessica Dowdle
    CRN #1735

    I believe that Chris McCandless refused food and money from people because he had this idea in his head that he was going to go on this adventure into the wild on his own. He had planned it for many years and part of doing it was making it by himself. He mentions at one point in the story that accepting an airplane ticket would be cheating. It’s like he had mapped it out in his head how it was going to go and nothing could steer him from his path. He does not compromise and is very hard headed. Also if he had accepted any money, I think he would have felt weakened somehow like he could not survive on his own. The whole idea in his mind was doing it alone and surviving on his own and if he accepted handouts his whole adventure would be pointless.
    Chris McCandless’s ideas about society are very puzzling to me. I think that he had grown up in this house where everything was handed to him. His life was already mapped out by his parents that he would go to college and be somebody, which in turn made him want to rebel even more. He didn’t want everything handed to him and he didn’t want to fit into society like some golden child with a college degree and rich parents. He did not like order (well order that he didn’t have control of anyway).
    I can understand someone wanting to do things on their own, but I think McCandless took it to extreme proportions. He was a well educated man and I just can not understand for the life of me why he acted so irrational 90% of the time.

  54. Holly Colgan said,

    March 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    If I were going on the same odyssey to Alaska, as Chris McCandless, some of the things I would take with me on this adventure to insure my survival would include: a compass or navigational device, warm, thick, and waterproof clothes, some sort of means for fire such as matches, a machete, and lastly I would take various kinds of dry food that could easily be cooked in the wilderness, the kind you find in camping stores that all you need to eat it is water and heat.
    I would take a compass or some sort of navigational device. Taking a device such as this with me would insure me I was heading the correct way in case of an emergency. I would also wear and bring extra thick, warm and waterproof clothes to keep warm in the extremely cold weather. I would eventually think I would need this in order to keep from losing a limb from frost bite. I would bring matches and lighters in a plastic bag. In order to cook my food and stay warm by a fire at night these things would be extremely important. A machete in order to cut down limbs to burn, keep warm and cook over. Lastly to insure that I would have a guaranteed full belly at night and I wouldn’t die of starvation, I would pack various kinds of packages of dry food which only required water and heat to make.
    On my Alaskan odyssey I would like to think the five things I have listed are extremely necessary and also may have been the things Chris McCandless needed in order to survive.
    Holly Colgan\1735

  55. Sabrina McCollum said,

    March 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    If I were to go to Alaska, as did Chris McCandless there are some things I would make sure to bring with me. A flashlight so I can maintain in the dark. There are many things you need to see in the dark, for example deadly animals, animals that you may need to kill for food, sticks and such to build a fire, etc. A compass is something I definitely would take so that I could know which direction I was going and what direction I would need to go for the changing of seasons. I would bring a first aid kit. When your in the wilderness you should expect to get injuries or poison from plants. Next I would take an abundance of food bars. These are healthy and contain the daily amount of calories to survive. Last I would take a pocket tool. I would take this so I would be able to kill small animals for food. The tool would also help to cut small wood for fire or to make bigger tools or spears. These are the things I feel are most important to take, even though I would personally never go on an odyssey with only a few things to survive.

    Sabrina McCollum
    Jewell/CRN 1735

  56. March 18, 2008 at 7:04 pm

    It is important to the reader because it gives the reader a glimpse of the actual life of Jack London. Jack London merely experienced some of the things that he wrote about. But Chris McCandless idolized Jack London so much from his writing, that to him, Jack London was the epiphany of a great outdoorsman and could probably do no wrong in his view. It also makes you think, if Chris McCandless was so smart why did he never took the time to research Jack London? Was it that maybe he didn’t want to know the real story? Or was it that he did know. But he didn’t want that to get in the way of his plan of going on his odyssey in the Alaskan wilderness. My view of Chris McCandless after I read this paragraph was of someone that was very naïve, and someone who wanted to make a point. That he didn’t need to be a part of society in order to live a normal fulfilling life. And when he decided to leave his home, this was a way for him to retaliate towards his parents and society. His point in this case may have been fatal, but that did not take away the idea behind his plan.

    Juliana, you bring up a really good point about why he never researched Jack London. And maybe even if he did, it may not have changed his view on what he was going to do, since his identity was so wrapped up in this adventure.

  57. Stirling Ricks said,

    March 18, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    If I was going on an Alaskan adventure like Chris McCandless I would have taken a lot more supplies. If I could only take five things they would be a Barrett .50 caliber Rifle, a topographical map, a compass, Gerber Leatherman Multi-tool, and a windproof lighter. I believe these few items could help up the odds of survival greatly.
    Two of the greatest threats of the frozen north are bears and starvation. The rifle serves a dual purpose. If you are attacked by a bear you would have a great chance to kill him with the power of a good high power rifle, unlike the .22 caliber McCandless took with him. Secondly the rifle would dramatically increase your odds of getting food. A .22 will kill at close range; however a .50 cal will reach out and drop what you aim at if you are able to see it. Stalking wild game is tough; especially when these animals’ instincts are as keen as those found in Alaska.
    The second and third item I would take go hand in hand. A topographical map and compass are a life saver. It would allow you to scout out land features to find the most probably places to find animals or to seek refuge in a dire situation.
    The remainder of my items would simply consist of a Gerber Leatherman Multi-tool and a good windproof lighter. A good multi-tool is like having a Swiss Army Knife on steroids. There are virtually no tasks that it cannot help with. It would be a godsend to have on a trip like this. Lastly the good ol’ lighter. It is mankind’s greatest achievements. You simply cannot put a price on fire when you are all alone in frozen Alaskan Backcountry.

    Stirling Ricks
    CRN 1735

  58. Kamilla Araujo said,

    March 18, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    If one day I decide to go on a journey around Alaska there are a lot of things that I would want to make sure I had with me. The first important thing would bring enough water to last me for at least a week. It could get hard to find water so enough water is definitely the most important thing.
    The second of all enough thick clothing to make sure I could survive any kind of weather. Sometimes it could get colder than we expect and freezing to death is definitely not a good thing.
    The third important thing is food. Sometimes the nature does not provide us with much, especially when you have to share with other wild animals. Food bars would definitely be my first choice since they are full of nutrients enough for a day.
    The forth thing would be a first aid kit with supplies to help you deal with snake bites and big cuts. Accidents can happen to anyone and getting an infection can be a really bad thing during this trip.
    Fifth important thing to bring I would definitely have to say a survival kit such as a nice, lighter fluid and lighter to be able to build a fire and keep myself warm and also protect myself from animals.
    There are many other things that I would take with me, especially enough money in case something unexpected happen. Preparing yourself is not really ruining a wild trip but making sure I would get out of it alive.
    Kamilla Araujo
    CRN 1735

  59. Rick Sakal said,

    March 18, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    In Ch. 5, Jon Krakauer gives us a very important insight into one of the writers that McCandless was infatuated with, Jack London. “McCandless conveniently overlooked the fact that London himself had spent just a single winter in the North and that he’d died by his own hand on his California estate at the age of forty, a fatuous drunk, obese and pathetic, maintaining a sedentary existence that bore scant resemblance to the ideals he espoused in print” (44). That London’s works, The Call of the Wild, White Fang, “To Build a Fire,” An Odyssey of the North,” and “The Wit of Porportuk” were all fictional shows that McCandless knew nothing about the author’s personal life. That everything McCandless idolizes about London is based on fiction, not who London really was. I feel that this is just one example of how McCandless developed his persona as a survivalist. This then helps to explain his romantic obsession with the wilderness and his longing to live in the wild. Because McCandless did not know the real London his concept of what it would take to live and survive in the Alaskan wild was askew, McCandless’ reality of the wild was in fact erroneous.

  60. Sara Garmon said,

    March 18, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    I think that Chris was not seen as a typical guy in the eyes of the general public. Most children expect their parents to give them everything they want. Chris had been so strongly influenced by the writers that he loved it changed his attitude and mindset. He would even get mad at his parents for wanting to buy him a new car, when in Chris’ mind there was nothing wrong with the one that he already had. Chris had the ideals that a man did not need possessions in order to be happy. The things that you owned did or did not make the happiness in your life. When people saw Chris after he had already been out in the wilderness, they assumed that he was a “needy person”. Little did they know that he chose to live the life he was living. He had a enough money in savings account for a good college education. If he would have went to school and completed it, he could have had a nice prosperous life. He would have never had any finical strain for the rest of his life. Chris on the other hand, had different ideas of prosperity and happiness and they were completely different from the ideals of society. Not many people would understand why he gave all his college money away to a charity and not take it with him to buy supplies. It was not about the money, it was solely about the life and surviving on the land. So, into the wild he went.

    CRN # 1718

  61. lisa albano said,

    March 24, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    I believe that an Alaskan wilderness trip would be an amazing experience; however; I am not sure that I would survive for long at all. The 5 Items I would take with me are a riffle with plenty of ammunition, a tube tent, a wind proof lighter, and 1200 calorie food bars.
    The reason I would bring the riffle and ammunition would be for protection, as well as, a way to supplement my food, by hunting wild animals. The need for a wind proof lighter would be to create a fire. The fire would be used for several reasons, heat, light, cooking purposes, sterilizing. I would also take 1200 calorie food bars with me, so that I would be guaranteed food that I could ration out over time. A tube tent would be the last item I would bring. I think that the ability to have some sort of shelter from the elements, be it the heat or cold would be essential.
    Having discussed the 5 items I would bring, all these items together and nothing else would leave me terribly unprepared. I however, think that if I had to choose between 5 items and nothing these are the most important to me.
    Lisa Albano
    English 1101 / 1727

  62. Holly Colgan said,

    March 25, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    Throughout the novel Chris McCandless is compared to several adventurers. The one adventurer I think was interesting was McCunn. Unlike Chris McCandless, McCunn told his friends that he was headed in to the wilderness. When McCunn went on this adventure he took five hundred rolls of film, rifles, a shotgun, and fourteen pounds of provision. McCunn’s adventurous nature and unprepared ways are very familiar to that of Chris McCandless. All though McCunn set a specific time period he wanted to leave and McCandless didn’t, McCunn’s tendency to wing the whole adventure left him stranded, forgetting to arrange a pilot for his return, leaving him stranded much like McCandless, ill prepared for the unfamiliar wilderness and what it might have in store.
    Chris McCandless and McCunn are both describe as friendly and likeable guys. They both had the need to wonder into the wilderness for different reasons, yet they both lacked extremely crucial importance needed to survive the wilderness, McCunn throwing all but a dozen shot gun shells into the lake thinking he didn’t need them, intimately starving to death because of this . McCunn could have survived this tragic ending if he recognized when the plane flew over for his rescue, he had given the signal that he was ok instead of that he needed help. McCandless might have also survived it he was more prepared and had the map that would have told him about the safety cabins near by and where he could have passed the river with at least some sort of chance for survival. I think that it was the lack of common sense and they’re unprepared adventures that killed these to men. They’re ignorance is what killed them. All though I believe this was a tragic ending for both, I think they were indeed set up for ultimate disappointment, its just a shame they didn’t see it before it took their lives.
    Holly Colgan\1735

  63. Carolina Carrion-K said,

    March 25, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Answering the first question, I think that in a way this has to do with something he wanted to achieve personally and in order to be at peace with himself, with the standards he set for himself. Therefore he refused all help, probably because he felt like he achieved something by it.

    He also wanted to proof something to society, he wanted to show how he could achieve a dream, the dream to travel and enjoy the world, which could be considered as an inate dream from all of us, without the use of those things which seamed to enslave Human Beings to a life of material things and work.

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