FC: Into the Wild and the Monomyth by Lucy Suddreth
1: The Call | Chris McCandless' call to adventure was not something that suddenly happened. It was a buildup of a series of events and people that he had met over the course of his life. His family relationships had been rough through his high school and college career: "You could tell something wasn't right between him and his family, but I don't like to pry into other people's business" (Krakauer 18). He wanted to make some changes and he "intended to invent an utterly new life for himself, to symbolize complete severance from his previous life" (Krakauer 23).
2: Refusal of the Call | Chris had been planning on going on this adventure for quite some time. Both of his parents had plans of Chris graduating from college and hopefully attending law school after that. Chris had different plans for his life: "He had spent the previous four years, as he saw it, preparing to fulfill and absurd and onerous duty: to graduate from college" (Krakauer 22). Graduating college was the only thing that was keeping Chris from his journey; he had to do it for his parents. I feel that if it was up to him he would have been gone long before. Once he graduated college he had nothing holding him back because his parents always just wanted him to finish school.
4: Supernatural Aid | The Supernatural Aid in the story mostly comes from all of the books that Chris reads along his journey. When he reads these books he often becomes inspired and tries to live like them: "McCandless has been infatuated with London since childhood." (Krakauer 44). Chris reads and re-reads the adventurous books that Jack London has written during his odyssey. Chris is so "enthralled by these tales, that he seemed to forget they were fiction" (Krakauer 44). All of London's books live the lifestyle that Chris wants to have and he wants his journey to reflect them.
6: Crossing the Threshold | The crossing of the threshold is when McCandless "burned all of the money in his wallet, and gave his savings away to charity (Krakauer "Author's Note"). This was important because at this point there was no turning back for Chris. He was now off on his own. Since he had given most of his possessions away he would not have been able to turn back even if he desired. I feel this is the point which shows you that Chris was really committed on this journey.
8: Belly of the Whale | Chris abandoned his car after a flood because he could not get the engine to catch. He left a note saying "'This piece of shit has been abandoned, whoever gets it out can have it.'" (Krakauer 26). Chris didn't want to get help from anybody in fear that they would contact his parents. He did not have a license and his car was not insured. He decided to "abandon the Datson and resume his odyssey on foot" (Krakauer 29). From here on Chris had to find other transportation options.
10: Road of Trials | Along the way Chris had many trials. One of the things that Chris had to do was get from one place to another, he did not have any money so normally he had to hitchhike. Eventually he discovered jumping trains. Once Chris discovered this he said "What fun, I wish I had jumped trains earlier." (Krakauer 53). The only bad part about the trains were the bulls. These were people who ran the trains/ watched over them. The first time Chris was discovered by one they kicked him off. The second time "he was discovered; he got thrown in jail." (Krakauer 54).
11: Meeting with the Goddess | The goddess in this book is mother nature. She helps Chris seek shelter and find food that he can eat. I think that she helped lead Chris to the bus where he spent the last part of his journey. Around this area he had good luck with food too! He wrote in his diary about all of the animals that he was catching: "June 2: Porcupine, Ptarmigan, 4 squirrel, Grey bird" (Krakauer 166). I don't think that Chris could have gotten through his journey without mother nature.
12: Temptation away from the true path | I think that the Chris' temptation was Ronald Franz. Ron became very attached to Chris because he did not have any family. Ron's family was killed in a car accident. Chris was someone to whom he became very close to. Before Chris went to Alaska he was going to go to San Diego to earn some money. Ron said "you don't need to go; I'll give you money." (Krakauer 52). Chris refused Ron's offer nevertheless and then went to Alaska. Ron Franz wanted Chris to stay with him. He states that it "was a very hard thing for him to do, and that he was sad that Chris was leaving him." (Krakauer 53).
13: Atonement with the Father | Chris realizes through being in the wild that "the only certain happiness in life is to live for others." (Krakauer 169). Franz had asked if he could adopt Chris before he left on his trip to Alaska. Chris was "uncomfortable with the request. He dodged the question saying that they could talk about it when he returned." (Krakauer 55). Chris was never the kind of person that liked to get too close to people, but since he had been living in Alaska he realized that happiness could be found through "being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good" (Krakauer 169). I think that if Chris had survived and come out of the bush then he would have let Ron Franz adopt him as his son.
14: Apotheosis | I think that Chris' life has been changed when he wrote "I am reborn. This is my dawn. Real life has just begun." (Krakauer 168). Chris has been through a lot and seen lots of the western part of the US. For me I knew that he had come to a realization when he says "maybe he was prepared to forgive their imperfections; and maybe even some of his own" (Krakauer 168). This was a huge step because Chris has always disliked his parents and now he is prepared to forgive them.
15: Refusal of the return | Chris decides that he wants to leave and when he comes to cross the river "he concluded that he would probably be swept to death if he tried to cross, and it would be suicidal." (Krakauer 170). He didn't seek any other possibilities that could have gotten him across the river: "Any option would have been risky, at this point he had no reason to take such a risk" (Krakauer 170).
16: Master of Two Worlds | When Chris first wanted to go on this journey he hated his parents, and didn't like having strong relationships with people. Since he's been in the wild I think that he really has changed. When I first realized this when he mentions the fact that "he might forgive his parents, and himself" (Krakauer 168). Also he says that "people are needed in your life for happiness" (Krakauer 169). All of these events combined in his life have made him a brand new person.
17: Works Cited | A) Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. 1st ed. Villard, NY: Villard Books, 1996. 1-207. Print. B) Book Cover. n.d. Lawson Kosulic. Palatine Library Teens. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. Just Chris' face and bus background. Geo Jones. Listal. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. Reading on rock. n.d. Gary Tooze. DVD Beaver. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. River. n.d. ABC Nightline. ABC. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. Snow with bus. n.d. Christopher Johnson McCandless Memorial Foundation. Christopher McCandless. Web 9 Apr. 2011. Standing on rock, arms raised. Eivind Figenschau Skjellum. Masculinity-Movies. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. Thumbs up on couch. 2007. A. O. Scott. New York Times. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. Thumbs up walking with car. n.d. Sean Penn. Sean Axmaker. Web. 9 Apr. 2011. Walking green car in background. n.d. Ryan Patton. Glogster. Web. 9 Apr. 2011.