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Into the Wild

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Mary Wood

on 3 April 2017

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Transcript of Into the Wild

Quick Write
Based on the title of the book,
Into the Wild
, the following quote, and this picture of Christopher McCandless, predict what you think this book could be about. Who is Chris McCandless? Where is he in this picture? What do you think happens to him?
The Author
Jon Krakauer is a writer and avid mountain climber.
Krakauer’s writing career became widely known through his work with
Outside
magazine, but he has written for many other publications including
The New York Times.
In addition to his journalistic work, Krakauer has written several novels, the most acclaimed being
Into Thin Air
, an account of his successful yet disastrous climb of Mount Everest.

Transcendentalism
Philosophical movement developed in the 1830s and 1840s as a protest to the general state of culture and society.

Includes the belief that society and institutions (school, church, political parties) corrupt the purity of the individual.
View of MAN
1. Nonconformity
Don't conform to society just to "fit in" because society corrupts a person's inner goodwill.
Examples of corruption
: slavery, oppressive religions
and leaders, lack of women's rights, etc.
4. Confidence
Follow through on free thought.
Remain true to your values.
Act on them. Advocate for them.
Be a social activist!
Transcendentalist Thinkers
Henry David Thoreau
and
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Essential Questions
In life, what is most important: friends, family, or self? Are families, friends, or community essential to our happiness in any way?
Can a person be completely content in solitude or without the acceptance of society? Which of these is most central to our happiness?
What does it mean to be successful?

Into the Wild
LA 11 Ms. Wood
“I've decided I'm going to live this life for some time to come. The freedom and simple beauty is just too good to pass up.” ~Christopher McCandless

The Book
Into the Wild
was published in 1996 and spent two years on the NYT Bestseller List

He wrote the book after the success and great popularity of his
Outside
article on Christopher McCandless published in the January 1993 issue.

Krakauer saw a lot of connections between Chris and himself from their interests, to their world views, to their families.

“I identify with him a lot, and it's a sad story. I went back to the bus for the third time last September. I've become quite good friends with his family, we have sort of this weird bond” (Random House).



Decomposed body found in bus (Alaska) in September 1992
From affluent East Coast family
Emory University alumni (1990)
Two-year “odyssey” from 1990-1992

Christopher McCandless "Alexander Supertramp"
Intuition is our ability to know things through our emotions rather than reason.

Instinct is an important tool for discovering knowledge and truth.

People should work towards self-improvement and human perfectibility.
Transcendental Beliefs


Pantheistic: equating God with the forces of nature and the laws of the universe
Transcendental Beliefs


Man is divine and shares this divinity with all life.
View of Life
idealistic

- believing that ultimate reality lies in ideas and in the mind
liberal

- the aim is self-knowledge
View of Education
The Individual is superior to Society, or the community.
View of Society
Transcendental Tenets
(or thoughts):
The Big 5
2. Self Reliance
A person in tune with nature, spirituality,
and individuality can teach themselves.

Your intuition and individualism outweighs outside authority and blind conformity to custom and tradition.

Do things on your own. Learn from these experiences.
Think for yourself!
Free thought inspires actions based on an individual's values, not the values of society.
3. Free Thought
Nature is sacred.

The physical facts of the natural world are a doorway to the spiritual or ideal world.

Seek solitude in nature (the best way to escape society). Taking time to experience nature can lead to enlightenment.
5. Nature
Henry David Thoreau
(1817-1862)
an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist and naturalist

best known for his book
Walden
, a description of his quest for a simple life in tune with nature, and his essay "Civil Disobedience," an argument for the resistance of civil government

"Civil Disobedience" was an inspirational work for renowned pacifist Mahatma Gandhi and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Read the excerpt from
Walden
on your hand-out.

Identify the Big 5 Transcendental Tenets throughout the excerpt. Do this by annotating (marking) the text.

Based on the excerpt, what would Thoreau say is the meaning of happiness?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
(1803-1882)
Advocate for abolition, nature, harmony, and intellect
Known as the "Father of Transcendental Literature"
Exhilarated by nature's beauty and tranquility, Emerson felt he was in tune with his better self and in
harmony with eternal things.
"Self Reliance"

Into the Wild was the first solo studio album by Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder, and is based on his contributions to the soundtrack for the film Into the Wild. Listen to Vedder's song "Society" from the soundtrack and identify the 5 Tenants of
Transcendentalism within the song, annotating the lyrics
Full transcript