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Into the Wild

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					Into the Wild
  Jon Krakauer
           About the Author
► Jon Krakauer was born in Massachusetts in
  1954, and moved as a young child with his
  family to Oregon
► Was influenced early in his life by the first
  successful climb of Mt. Everest
► Began writing for magazines in 1974
► Wrote Death of an Innocent in 1992 for
  Outside Magazine
           About the author
► Thisarticle was turned into the full length
  novel Into the Wild
► Currently lives in Seattle and is an active
  outdoorsman and mountain climber
                   About the selection
►   Into the Wild is the true story of the mysterious life and death of Christopher
    Johnson McCandless, a talented young man from a good family who
    inexplicably turned his back on everything he seemed to have going for him.
    He graduated from Emory University in 1990, lost no time in giving away to
    charity the sizeable balance in his bank account, and then abruptly abandoned
    his past life and the personal identity all knew him by to basically disappear
    from the lives of family and friends. He anticipated that his parents would want
    to stop him, so he arranged to have his mail held for at least a month before it
    was returned to them, thereby giving himself ample time to leave for unknown
    parts unhindered by parental intervention. Although he had been outwardly
    obedient and cordial toward his parents, McCandless seemed to have been
    inexplicably angry with them for a long time. He immediately set out on a
    meandering adventure, a vagabond odyssey, as if he had been living a secret
    internal life all along, one that suddenly prompted him to throw over the
    affluent middle-class lifestyle he had conformed with previously to seek a purer
    place to think and feel in. While his family searched for him in vain, he traveled
    across the United States, living off his wits and the charity of people he met
    along the way. (
          About the selection
► Although  a biography of his life, the reader
  feels somewhat distanced from Chris
  McCandless, perhaps because of the use of
  an assumed name
► Everything we know is pieced together from
  his journal entries, and testimonies from
  people he met along his travel route
           Literary Qualities
► Genre   is documentary biographical writing,
  yet still maintains a narrative quality
► Provides anecdotes of other young travelers
  like McCandless
► Provides vivid descriptions of people and
► Story is told moving backward and forward
  through time
                           Literary Terms

►   Allusion - a reference to a person, place, poem, book, event, etc., which is not part of
    the story,that the author expects the reader will recognize. Example: In The Glass
    Menagerie,Tom speaks of “Chamberlain’s umbrella,” a reference to British Prime Minister
    Neville Chamberlain.
►   Autobiography - the relating of a person’s life by that person. Example: The
    Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
►   Foreshadowing - the use of hints or clues in a story to suggest what action is to
    come.Foreshadowing is frequently used to create interest and build suspense. Example:
    Two small and seemingly inconsequential car accidents predict and hint at the up
    coming, important wreck in The Great Gatsby.
►   Irony - a perception of inconsistency, sometimes humorous, in which the significance
    and understanding of a statement or event is changed by its context. Example: The
    firehouse burned down.
►   • Dramatic Irony - the audience or reader knows more about a character’s situation than
    the character does and knows that the character’s understanding is incorrect. Example:
    In Medea, Creon asks, “What atrocities could she commit in one day?” The reader,
    however, knows Medea will destroy her family and Creon’s by day’s end.
►   • Structural Irony – the use of a naïve hero, whose incorrect perceptions differ from the
    reader’s correct ones. Example: Huck Finn.
                      Literary Terms
►   • Verbal Irony - a discrepancy between what is said and what is really
    meant; sarcasm. Example: A large man whose nickname is “Tiny.”
►   Local Color - details and descriptions common to a certain place.
    Example: The Mississippi River, the people living around it, and the
    way they talk, act, think, etc., are essential to The Adventures of
    Huckleberry Finn.
►   Motivation - the reasons behind a character’s actions. Example:
    Huckleberry Finn travels down the Mississippi River in order to escape
    the Widow Douglas, who wants to “sivililize” him.
►   Narrator - the one who tells the story. The narrator must not be
    confused with “author,” the one who writes the story. If the narrator is
    a character in the book, the proper term is “first-person narration.”
    Example: Moby Dick is narrated by Ishmael, a crewmember. If the
    narrator is not a character in the book, the correct term is “third-
    person narration.” Example: Sense and Sensibility.
                          Literary Terms
►   Point of View - the position or vantage point, determined by the author, from which the
seems to come to the reader. The two most common points of view are First-person
and Third-person. Examples: First-person point of view occurs in The Adventures of
Huckleberry Finn; the reader receives all information through Huck’s eyes. An example
of third-person point of view is Dickens’ Hard Times, in which the narrator is not a
character in the book.
► Simile - a comparison between two different things using either like or as. Examples: I
    am as hungry as a horse. The huge trees broke like twigs during the hurricane.
► Theme - the central or dominant idea behind the story; the most important aspect that
    emerges from how the book treats its subject. Sometimes theme is easy to see, but, at
    other times, it may be more difficult. Theme is usually expressed indirectly, as an
    element the reader must figure out. It is a universal statement about humanity, rather
    than a simple statement dealing with plot or characters in the story. Themes are
    generally hinted at through different methods: a phrase or quotation that introduces the
    novel, a recurring element in the book, or an observation made that is reinforced
    through plot, dialogue, or characters. It must be emphasized that not all works of
    literature have themes in them. Example: In a story about a man who is diagnosed
    with cancer and, through medicine and will-power, returns to his former occupation, the
    theme might be: “Real courage is demonstrated through internal bravery and
    perseverance.” In a poem about a flower that grows, blooms, and dies, the theme might
    be: “Youth fades, and death comes to all.”
► Tragedy - a serious work, usually a play, in which the main character experiences
    defeat, brought about by a tragic flaw. Example: Hamlet.

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