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Into the Wild
Transcript of Into the Wild
Modern, industrialized society's technological advancement and emphasis on material possessions, consumerism, and monetary success combine to disconnect people from their natural surroundings. Into the Wild raises questions about identity, society, wilderness, and survival.
Topical questions: 1. defines success?
2. How do we construct identity?
3. Instead of beginning college
immediately after h.s., what
might you do, for how long,
4. What do you believe in?
Where do your beliefs come from?
What do they "look" like?
Into the Wild
Bullhead City, AZ: 2 months
"I might finally settle down."
pg. 44: McCandless+ Literature
pg. 46: McCandless+ resourcefulness
Anza- Borrego, CA: Ron Franz
pg. 51: McCandless + Crafts
pg. 55: McCandless + Friendship
pg. 57: McCandless + Existentialism
Carthage, South Dakota
pg. 61, 63: McCandless + Avoidance
pg. 64: McCandless + Family
Other Adventurers: Rosellini, Waterman, McCunn
Pg. 109: McCandless and academics
pg. 110, 111: McCandless and established rules in society
pg. 113: McCandless and idealism
Pg. 122: McCandless and moral values
pg. 133: McCandless and nature
"How is it that a kid with so much compassion could cause his parents so much pain?" (104)
J#3: Chris "believed that wealth was shameful, corrupting, (and) inherently evil." (115)
Thoreau: "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth" (117).
Pg. 163: McCandless vs. Supertramp
Pg. 164: McCandless and successes/failures in the wild
Pg. 165: McCandless and the irony of being in the "wild"
pg. 168: McCandless and living
pg. 181: McCandless and arrogance
pg. 182: McCandless and youth
pg. 187: McCandless lacks the idea of "life as sacrifice"
pg. 189: McCandless and happiness
pg. 198: McCandless and death.
pg. 199: McCandless and peace
By Jon Krakauer
During this unit, you will:
1) examine identities, influences,
adventures, and life choices.
2) reconnect with nature through
3) gain insight into society's
expectations and influences shape
4) develop respect for dangers of the wild,
skepticism of society's messages, and
deeper appreciate for both.
Essential questions for understanding:
1. What is the relationship between identity and nature?
2. What is the relationship between society and self?
3. What are the limitations and obligations of living in the civilized world?
4. To what extent is community essential to happiness/meaning of life?
5. How do we form identity?
pg. 6: Gallien's view of McCandless
"F-ck their stupid rules."
pg. 7: Alex's view on material belongings
pg. 9: Nature, savage, brutal, untamed
pg. 10: history of "the bus"; Alex found.
pg. 16 & 18: McCandless physical description
*Emory in Atlanta
pg. 21: McCandless view on accepting gifts
"I'm going to disappear for a while."
*Detrital Wash in Arizona
burns money. ditched Datsun. hitched to Lake Tahoe. Hiked in Sierra Nevada.
*Northern California--> Idaho --> Montana --> CA --> COlorado River --> Yuma (Arizona) --> Gulf of CA, Mexico --> Detrital Wash --> Las Vegas
pg. 37: His thoughts.
"God it's great to be alive!"
Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace quotes
I simply want to live; to cause no evil to anyone but myself.
Men cannot possess anything as long as he fears death. But to him who does not fear it, everything belongs. If there was no suffering, man would not know his limits, would not know himself.
We are asleep until we fall in love!
Human science fragments everything in order to understand it, kills everything in order to examine it.
Everything I know, I know because of love.
How can one be well, when one suffers morally?
Where do you look for TRUTH?
Many in the Romantic movement found it in nature.
Transcendentalists (Thoreau and Walden) emp. living a simple life and cel. truth found in nature, personal emot., and imag.
Henry David Thoreau
Refused to pay poll tax that funded Mexican-American War of 1845.
Had faith in the integrity and of the individual.
"Civil Disobedience" inspired Ghandi, Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr.
"somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond"
one of the most innovative 20th century Amer. authors
experimented with poetic form and language as VISUAL FORMS
his poems attacked "mass minds", conventional thought patterns, society's restrictions on free expression, and commercialism.
*Starbursts: what is the rational thing to do with it? What is the creative thing to do with it?
Rationalist (city as place of self-realization and success) view replaced by Romantic view (city as place of moral corruption, poverty, death).
imagination, emotion, spontaneity > rational thought
Nature: independence, moral clarity, purity
find truth in nature
Transcendentalism (Emerson, Thoreau)
Everything in physical world = reflection of Divine Soul
Reform movements (women's rights, child labor laws, abolition of slavery) involved many Americans into action
If I describe to you the sky, it isn't just blue. It bleeds azure. It blows cobalt and it shines with sapphire depth and intensity, but it is never just blue.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) Quotes
Trust thyself, every heart vibrates to that iron string.
Society everywhere is a conspiracy against every one of its members.
Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fall.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is not path and leave a trail.
It is not the length of life, but the depth of life.
The only way to have a friend is to be one.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to change you is the greatest accomplishment...
After graduating college, McCandless begins, "an epic journey that would change everything" (22). He saw his time in college as "an absurd and onerous duty" (22). In heading west he felt freed "from stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and material excess" (22). Using examples from the reading, explain what he meant by this. Do you agree with his motivation for leaving?
- length minimum: 1/2 page
"So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality noting is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure."
- Do you agree? why or why not? Provide specific examples from the text and /or observations.
- minimum length : 1/2 pages.
Characteristics of Resilient People
"Nature" based traits:
1) Having an easy temperament or disposition. Some people are just naturally more flexible and easy going than others.
2) Having the ability to elicit positive response from others. These are people who are likable, friendly, and whom others want to be around. Natural leaders.
"Nurture" based traits:
1) Having empathy and caring bout others.
2) Having excellent communication skills.
3) Having a sense of humor about one's self. People who can see the humor or irony in a situation are in better position to recover from pain.
3) Having a sense of one's identity. People who understand and take pride in their roots can use that knowledge to overcome adversity.
4) Having the ability to act independently. People who take initiative and carry on without having to rely on others.
5) Having ability to separate from unhealthy situations or people. Think reflectively on a situation.
6) Having a sense of purpose or future. Believing that you can have a positive future in spite of current circumstances is enough to keep resilient people engaged toward that positive future. Believe in something bigger than themselves.
Read the italicized passage on page 168 that McCandless wrote and the italicized passage he highlighted from Tolstoy on page 169. Based on these writings and events in this chapter, what convinced McCandless that it was time to return to civilization? did he learn from his time "in the wild"? Support your answer with specific details.
Feb 12, 1968: birth
1986: graduated H.S.
1990: Graduated college
July 1990: Abandons Datsun in az (26)
August 1990: "Alexander Supertramp"
Worked for "Crazy" Ernie (Farm)
Stole bike from Ernie
Northern CA: hitched ride from Jan Burres (30)
Sept 1990: Works for Wayne (15) Wayne gets arrested, C leaves for Mx.
Oct. 1990: Sneaks across Mx border in kayak (34)
Jan 1991: returns to America
May 1991: Arrives in Bullhead City, Az
Works at McDonald's (38-40)
Dec 1991: Alex, Jan, and Jan's bf Bob head to the slabs (43); sells books
Homework: Read chapters 6, 7, part of 8
Questions to consider: (My quizzes tend to be difficult)
Ronald Franz's and Chris' relationship: what is it like?
What advice does Chris give Ron?
Upon receiving Chris' advice, what does Ron do?
How did Ron find out about Chris' death?
How does Wayne feel about Chris' leaving his family?
Read the italicized on pg. 71-72. Agree/Disagree?