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Carl McCunn and Chris McCandless - Into the WIld

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on 1 September 2014

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Transcript of Carl McCunn and Chris McCandless - Into the WIld

Carl McCunn
Krakauer’s inclusion of Carl McCunn and the other individuals in the text is to show readers that Chris McCandless wasn’t alone in respects of going off into the wild, that he wasn’t the only one who couldn’t survive the harsh, unforgiving nature. Knowing others shared his journey helps us as the reader really understand why McCandless chose to live in the wilderness. These men sought solace away from humanity for reasons, including science and art but McCandless chose this journey for himself and that’s what makes his story the best.
Author's intent
To make a connection with the letters he received after the death of McCandless. One man wrote ‘I’ve run into several McCandless types out in the country. Same story: idealistic, energetic young guys who overestimated themselves, underestimated the country, and ended up in trouble. McCandless was hardly unique.’
Yet Krakauer is telling us how unique he actually is by comparing him to others.
He is so exceptional to Krakauer that he doesn’t even know how to describe him.
‘McCandless was something else – although precisely what is hard to say. A pilgrim, perhaps.’

Carl McCunn and Chris McCandless are similar in many respects. Both were intelligent and responsible. ‘He seemed like a smart guy,’ Stoppel recalls about McCunn. ‘He seemed extremely intelligent,’ Ron Franz said about McCandless.
Both made very unfortunate and grave mistakes that cost them their lives.
Similarly both also kept a diary that they wrote in about their thoughts and feelings and both prepared for death the same way by writing in their journals until the very last day.
Both also seemed to embrace death in the end instead of fighting it and something that surprises me is the Carl kept spare bullets from his already low supply to kill himself with rather than to shoot animals for food, so he must have been thinking about his outcome a lot instead of walking the 75 miles to safety.
Carl McCunn was born in 1946, right after the war in West Germany.
Moved and raised in Texas leaving behind his unknown mother.
Graduated from high school in 1964.
Enlisted into the US Navy after dropping out of college. He served for 4 years and was discharged in 1969 before moving to Anchorage in Alaska in 1970.

Carl found a passion for wildlife photography and went on many expeditions for the sole purpose of photography.
He announced that he would camp out again in the wilderness for 8 months in March of 1981.
The journey went underway, but McCunn made a fateful error by not arranging for a pilot to pick him up when he finished his expedition, which ultimately caused his death.

Carl McCunn
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