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					Unit on Perspectives:

         Into
          the
         Wild
          By Jon Krakauer


Student Study Guide
  Ortiz/12th Grade
Name: ___________________________________




                    2
Notes on Jack London and
        Famous
      Literature




     Notes on Henry
     David Thoreau




           3
        Discussion Journal Assignment

In order to discuss elements of the novel, Into the Wild, you will have a journal discussion partner.
Complete 4 journal discussions to turn in for a grade. For each do the following:

       1. Choose any 4 Journal Response Questions below. Answer the questions in complete,
          well-written paragraphs (2-4 paragraphs for each). Your answer can be personal and
          reflective. I encourage you to be creative (but appropriate) in response to the answer.
          Be sure to include specific details from the text to demonstrate that you have read the
          book.
       2. Leave a page or two in between each entry for your partner.
       3. For each Journal entry, you are to switch with your Journal Partner. As the responder to
          the Journal, comment on the thoughts of the Journal owner in a paragraph. Understand
          that you are analyzing the story, and commenting on thoughts; not analyzing how or why
          your Journal Partner wrote what he/she wrote. Essentially, play nice.
       4. Turn in the completed Journal for credit. Due Date: ____________________________
       5. Please turn in Journal Entry #1, prepared and ready for your partner to respond in class:
          ________________________


                                    Journal Response Questions


   1. What do you think caused Chris to embark on his journey? (beginning of the novel)


   2. What mistakes, if any, did Chris make before going to Alaska?



   3. In a review of the book by Library Journal, one complaint about it was that Krakauer “never
      satisfactorily answers the question of whether McCandless was a noble, if misguided,
      idealist or a reckless narcissist who brought pain to his family.” Which, in your opinion, was
      he? Was he both?


   4. McCandless was also greatly influenced by Henry David Thoreau. What did he borrow from
      Thoreau’s interaction with nature? How did he differ from Thoreau?



   5. The author claims that Into the Wild is very much a story about a son’s relationship with his
      father. What conclusions did you make regarding McCandless’s response to his family?
      What did you learn about parental relationships from the narrative?


                                                  4
6. One Alaskan Park Ranger has made some comparisons between himself and Chris. He
   wrote:

“Essentially, Chris McCandless committed suicide while I apprenticed myself to a career and a life that I
wanted more badly than I can possibly describe in so short an essay. In the end I believe that the
difference between us was that I wanted to live and Chris McCandless wanted to die (whether he
realized it or not). The fact that he died in a compelling way doesn’t change that outcome. He might
have made it work if he had respected the wilderness he was purported to have loved. But it is my belief
that surviving in the wilderness is not what he had in mind.

I did not start this essay to trash poor Chris McCandless. Not intentionally. It is sad that the boy had to
die. The tragedy is that McCandless more than likely was suffering from mental illness and didn’t have
to end his life the way he did. The fact that he chose Alaska’s wildlands to do it in speaks more to the
fact that it makes a good story than to the fact that McCandless was heroic or somehow extraordinary.
In the end, he was sadly ordinary in his disrespect for the land, the animals, the history, and the self-
sufficiency ethos of Alaska, the Last Frontier.”

Do you feel that McCandless was either mentally ill or suicidal? Use evidence from the text.



7. What is Truth? Where did you get your sense of Truth? What is McCandless’s sense of
   Truth? How do you know?



8. What significance, if any, do you attach to the note Chris left in the margins of Dr. Zhivago:
   “Happiness only real when shared” as he neared the end of his life? (end of book, pg. 189)


9. Interview your parents/ guardian about something they always wished they would have
   done. Find out why they haven’t done it? What stopped them?



10. At the end of the reading, Krakauer asserts that one reason adults have so much difficulty
   understanding McCandless’s actions is that they struggle “to recall how forcefully [they]
   were once buffeted by the passions and longings of youth.” To understand this observation,
   one must be able to define what “the passions and longings of youth” are. What do these
   passions and longings have to do with escape? With the natural world? And if one can
   recall such passions and longings, how might this change the way one looks at
   McCandless’s death?




                                                    5
Sample Journal Entry


Jimmy Neutron; October 17th

        As I begin to read the book, Into the Wild, I wonder exactly what caused Chris McCandless to embark on his
journey. Jon Krakauer challenges the reader in his Author’s Note at the beginning of the book, to question Chris’s
motives. As a result, his character must also be in question. Knowing what I know about young adults, as I am one, it
seems that he wasn’t prepared to go home after he graduated from college. It could be possible that Chris was feeling
the strain to conform to the rituals of college graduates: leave school, find a job, settle down. In some cases, people
who are unsuccessful at finding a job and becoming independent fear that they will be forced to regress by moving
home. In either case, I don’t think Chris was ready for life after college. He doesn’t seem like he is one who wants to
conform to the American way of living, or even worse, return to his family home and wait out the job search.


        Krakauer suggests on the second page of the Author’s Note that he comes to wonder a different motive. He
questions if McCandless was in the grip of the wilderness. To further explain, maybe McCandless was drawn by his
adventurous side to go off into nature. Demonstrating a Thoreau-like character, McCandless may have wanted to get
                                                                                                         th
personal with nature, maybe as a way to find out who he truly is. Erik Erikson, a psychologist of the 20 century,
identifies the adolescent to young adult developmental stage as a time of finding one’s true identity. Maybe
McCandless is still in that stage, and feels that the wilderness is a place where he can truly come to understand who
he is, and what he wants to live for.


        Nevertheless, McCandless made the decision to go off on his own, leaving his family in the dark. Obviously,
at least from what I know at this point in the book, his choice was deadly. What I am most curious to find out is
whether McCandless sees his death as a disappointment, or whether he comes to accept his choices because that
was what he wanted all along. Of course, I may need to answer whether his choice was deliberate in order to fully
comprehend why he embarked on such a dangerous journey.




Response:

Dora D. Explora; October 20th

        Jimmy makes several good points in his journal reflection. I also questioned if McCandless’s choice to give his
savings to OXFAM and leave his family behind was some sort of demonstration of his frustration with the world. He
couldn’t have been prepared to leave the comfort of his college experience and enter a new phase in life. I know that I
am also scared about the process of leaving my friends here in Bath, and going to college. I completely agree with
Jimmy as McCandless’s behavior must be a result of his “fear of becoming independent,” as Jimmy stated in his entry.
While it is exciting to become my own person, and experience the world outside of this small town, there are some
concerns I have about what exactly it will be like.

                                                            6
                                       Novel Notes
Pages 3-46
Plot
Jim Gallien – Gentleman who drove Chris into Alaska to Stampede Trail. He tried to talk
Chris out of odyssey, but Chris didn’t listen. Gallien described himself as having
issues with people like Chris because they think that they can survive the dangers of
the wild.
Alexander/Alex –

April 28, 1992 –

Fairbanks City Transit System: bus 142 –

Thompson, Samel, and Swanson –

Wayne Westerberg –

Annadale, Virgina –

OXFAM –

Old yellow Datsun –

Connection made about Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience) –

McDonalds -

Jan and Bob Burres –



Discussion Topics




                                                      7
                  Novel Notes continued…
                  Pages 47-97

Plot
Ronald Franz –

The leather belt –

Relationship with his parents –

Gene Rosellini –

John Mallon Waterman –

Carl McCunn –

Davis Gulch –

Everett Ruess –

“NEMO 1934” –




Discussion Topics




                                           8
Novel Notes continued…
Pages 98-144

Plot
Anchorage Daily News/Time/The Washington Post article on dead hiker –

                Jim Gallien (reaction to article) -

                Wayne Westerberg (reaction to article) -

                Sam McCandless (reaction to article) –

Walt McCandless (characterize him) –

Marcia McCandless –

Billie (Wilhelmina) McCandless –

“Chris marches to a different drummer” (pg. 107) –

Loren Johnson –

Disappointment in sports (how does this connect?) –

“McCandless took life’s inequities to heart.” (pg. 113) –

Chris’s trip southwest after high school graduation –

Secret relationship with Marcia McCandless –

Carine McCandless (characterization) –

The Devil’s Thumb –

                Importance of this story on story of McCandless –



Discussion Topics




                                                            9
Novel Notes continued…
Pages 145-203

Plot
Lewis Krakauer –

                 Importance of this story on story of McCandless –

“I knew that people sometimes died climbing mountains. But at the age of twenty-three, personal mortality – the idea
of my own death – was still largely outside my conceptual grasp.” (pg. 151). –

McCandless’s declaration of independence –

“Deliberate living” –

“He was right in saying that the only certain happiness in life is to live for others…” (pg. 169) –

The mistakes he made (Chapter 17 – End) –

        Identification of moose –

        Pot. Seed (potato seed) –

Discussion Topics




                                                             10
Characterization of Chris
McCandless
Directions: Find evidence in the book for the following characterizations of Chris McCandless. Regardless
of your own personal feelings, keep track of what evidence is provided for each of the following.
                                                                                          Pages with
                                                                                          quotes that will
                                                                                          make for good
                                                                                          evidence




Arrogant/Stupid
(“nuts”)




Courageous/Wise
(“wise beyond
his years”)




                                                   11
12
 Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
 Section 2 Reading – Statement/Theme Support

         Agree                                                                                Disagree

                           Statement:
1.
                           There is an intrinsic need for companionship.
                 Page:

                 Explanation/Proof:




                           Statement:
2.
                           People are greatly affected by the relationships they
                           have with their parents.
                 Page:

                 Explanation/Proof:




                            Statement:
                            Our negative judgments (calling him “nuts”) of Chris McCandless
 3.                         are based on our stereotypes of what a sane person really is.
                            Our American culture has decided what normal can be, and what
                            normal cannot be.
                   Page:

                   Explanation/Proof:




                            Statement:
 4.
                            Chris McCandless is a modern-day Messiah figure.

                   Page:

                   Explanation/Proof:




                                                           13
          An Effective Comparison…
     Describes the parts of the concept in detail before comparing
     Makes direct and clear comparisons with the concept, possibly
                 emphasizing some of the contrasts.
     Draws conclusions about the two concepts in terms of their
                            comparisons.
   Demonstrates an application of the information gained from the
                 comparison and conclusions made.




                 Harvey Silver’s 4
                 Phases of a
                 Successful
                 Comparison:

                 1.   Describe
                 2.   Compare
                 3.   Conclude
                 4.   Apply




                                 14
Section 3 Reading
Into the Wild – Krakauer




          Chris                                                              Walt
     McCandless
   Describe Chris’s actions                                            McCandless
                                                                      Describe Walt’s actions
   over the course of the                                             and behaviors.
   novel so far.




                                          How do they
                                        compare? What
                                       about their actions
                                          are similar?



                                                                      Conclusions Drawn
                                                                         1. Are Chris and Walt more
                                                                            alike or different?

                                                                         2. What has caused the
                                                                            similarities and
                                                                            differences between Chris
                                                                            and Walt?


                                                                         3. How could Chris be so
                                                                            angry with his father?

                                                                         4. How does this
                                                                            comparison enhance your
                                                                            understanding of Chris
                                                                            and his actions?




Application
Write a paragraph in which you will discuss the relationship Chris McCandless has with his dad.
How are people affected by their backgrounds? How could the situation between Chris and his dad
have been different? How important is the family relationship on any individual?

                                                15
       Chris                                                           Siddhartha
  McCandless
Describe Chris’s actions                                              Describe Siddhartha’s
over the course of the                                                actions and behaviors.
novel so far.




                                         How do they
                                       compare? What
                                      about their actions
                                         are similar?



                                                                      Conclusions Drawn
                                                                         1. Are Chris and Siddhartha
                                                                            more alike or different?
                                                                            Why?




                                                                         2. How does this
                                                                            comparison enhance your
                                                                            understanding of Chris
                                                                            and his actions?




Application
Write a paragraph in which you will discuss the relationship Chris McCandless has with Siddhartha.
Who is Siddhartha? How does he compare with Chris McCandless? How might a reader better
understand Chris through the actions of Siddhartha?
                                               16
 Is Chris McCandless a Hero?
What elements make up a literary hero?




Where does McCandless fit?

Discussion Questions:
 1.   Why is he idolized by so many?
 2.   Does Krakauer make him out to be a hero?


                                           17
Eddie Vedder “Society”
Into The Wild OST


INTRO: Bm

D          A           D
Oh, it's a mystery to me
          D          G             A
We have a greed with which we have agreed
        G                 A                  Bm
And you think you have to want more than you need
   G              A                Bm
Until you have it all you won't be free

    G                   D
Society, you're a crazy breed
                A              Bm
Hope you're not lonely without me...

          D                 A                  D
When you want more than you have you think you need...
             D                   G                  A
And when you think more than you want your thoughts begin to bleed
  G                A            Bm
I think I need to find a bigger place
                 G                  A                   Bm
Because when you have more than you think you need more space

    G                   D
Society, you're a crazy breed
                A                   Bm
Hope you're not lonely without      me...
    G             D
Society, crazy indeed
                A                   Bm
Hope you're not lonely without      me...


SOLO:   D - A - D   /   D - G - A    /   G - A - Bm (x2)   /   G - D - A - Bm


         D              A                      D
There's those thinking, more-or-less, less is more
       D             G               A
But if less is more, how you keeping score?
           G              A                 Bm
Means for every point you make, your level drops
G                 A                 Bm
Kinda like you're starting from the top, you can't do that...

    G                   D
Society, you're a crazy breed
                 A                  Bm
Hope you're not lonely without      me...
    G          D
Society, crazy indeed
                 A                  Bm
Hope you're not lonely without      me...

    G                  D
Society, have mercy on me
                A              Bm
Hope you're not angry if I disagree...
    G             D
Society, crazy indeed
                A                 Bm
Hope you're not lonely...without me...

                                                     18
The Essay Assignment
Which kind of essay do you need more practice with before you are released to do your Final Exam?
      Option 1: Literary Essay
      Option 2: Literary Comparison Essay
      Option 3: Researched Persuasive Essay

Option 1: Literary Essay (See Flowers for Algernon essay)
       Task: After reading Into the Wild, write a unified essay describing the value of this work as
       published literature. Check the guidelines below to keep you focus.
       Guidelines:
        Create a clear thesis statement.
        Demonstrate that you have read by analyzing the text for its literary elements and techniques.
        Consider the writer’s style.
        Include direct quotes/passages from the text appropriately.
        Utilize a multi-paragraph structure.
        Follow the standards of written English.



Option 2: Literary Comparison Essay (See Horror Unit Essay)
       Task: Compare and/or contrast Into the Wild with another piece of literature (not the other 2 novels
       we read this semester, though). Consider the Eddie Vedder lyrics or “To Build a Fire,” by Jack
       London. Be sure to present how a similar theme is present in both pieces of literature, analyzing that
       presentation based on the writer’s style of communication.
       Guidelines:
        Develop a clear thesis statement.
        Be sure to carefully define each text separately.
        Include paragraphs of analysis of the comparison/contrast.
        Successfully incorporate quote/passage analysis for each text to support your thesis.
        Utilize a multi-paragraph structure.
        Follow the standards of well-written English.



Option 3: The Persuasive Essay (See Tuesday’s with Morrie essay on death/life)
       Task: After reading Into the Wild, use researched evidence to persuade your audience what to
       believe about survival.
       Guidelines:
        Create a clear thesis statement. Persuade your audience to believe you.
        Use reliable research to support your thesis statement. Use at least 3 reliable sources to support
           your opinion.
        Consider using examples from the novel as one of your resources. Cite this as a book.
        I should be able to locate (by pointing to information from) the 3 different sources used in your
           essay.
        Be sure to include parenthetical documentation.
        Utilize a multiple paragraph structure.
        Utilize quotations/passages from your reliable sources, along with analyzing those
           quotes/passages correctly, to support your opinion.


                                                     19
 Be sure to cite the novel as a source on your Works Cited Page, in addition to your other 2
  sources. Missing or incorrectly formatted Works Cited pages will be docked points.




                                             20
UNIT QUIZ/TEST STUDY GUIDE
 Quizzes/Test: Below is a list of topic from each section of reading. You are free to take notes on the following topics as you read. You should
 take notes on the topics concerning:

          Who or what the topic is
          What he/she has to say and/or what was said about the place/object/person/event/quote/etc.
          How it relates to the story/McCandless (Draw connections to novel) – Be specific to the section that you are reading from.
          Possibly how this place/object/person/event/quote/etc. gives clues to the mystery of McCandless
      
 Realize that I will be quizzing you on some of these topics along the way, as well as using these topics to test you at the end of the Unit. I may
 not choose to use all of these topics in quizzing/testing you, so be sure to be prepared. The more specific you are, the better. If you are too
 general and missing the connections this place/object/person/event/quote/etc has to the novel, you will lose points. Do with this as you wish.
Section #1 (pg. 3-46)


Jim Gallien – Gentleman who drove Chris into Alaska to Stampede Trail. He tried to talk
Chris out of odyssey, but Chris didn’t listen. Gallien described himself as having
issues with people like Chris because they think that they can survive the dangers of
the wild.
Alexander/Alex –

April 28, 1992 –

Fairbanks City Transit System: bus 142 –

Thompson, Samel, and Swanson –

Wayne Westerberg –

Annadale, Virgina –

OXFAM –

Old yellow Datsun –

Connection made about Henry David Thoreau (Civil Disobedience) –

McDonalds -

Jan and Bob Burres –

Section #2 (pg. 47-97)

Ronald Franz –

The leather belt –

Relationship with his parents –

Gene Rosellini –

John Mallon Waterman –

Carl McCunn –

Davis Gulch –

Everett Ruess –

“NEMO 1934” –

                                                                         21
Section #3 (pg. 98 – 144)
Anchorage Daily News/Time/The Washington Post article on dead hiker –

                 Jim Gallien (reaction to article) -

                 Wayne Westerberg (reaction to article) -

                 Sam McCandless (reaction to article) –

Walt McCandless (characterize him) –

Marcia McCandless –

Billie (Wilhelmina) McCandless –

“Chris marches to a different drummer” (pg. 107) –

Loren Johnson –

Disappointment in sports (how does this connect?) –

“McCandless took life’s inequities to heart.” (pg. 113) –

Chris’s trip southwest after high school graduation –

Secret relationship with Marcia McCandless –

Carine McCandless (characterization) –

The Devil’s Thumb –

                 Importance of this story on story of McCandless –


Section #4 (pgs. 145-203)

Lewis Krakauer –

                 Importance of this story on story of McCandless –

“I knew that people sometimes died climbing mountains. But at the age of twenty-three, personal mortality – the idea
of my own death – was still largely outside my conceptual grasp.” (pg. 151). –

McCandless’s declaration of independence –

“Deliberate living” –

“He was right in saying that the only certain happiness in life is to live for others…” (pg. 169) –

The mistakes he made (Chapter 17 – End) –

        Identification of moose –

        Pot. Seed (potato seed) –

Additional concepts that will show up on the Unit Test:
Jack London                      Romanticism                       “Live deep…”                       Siddhartha
Law of Club and Fang             (Romantic)                        Civil Disobedience                 Krakauer’s-
Naturalism (naturalist)          Henry David Thoreau               Literary Hero                      Characterization
Darwin                           “simple living”                   Themes from novel

                                                             22
23

				
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