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Madison Walker's Monomyth Project

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FC: Into The Wild and the Monomyth by: Madison Walker

1: Chris McCandless was called to an adventure of an internal quest. He did not have the best family relationships and was often distant from them, except his sister, Carine McCandless. He was successful in the academic world yet declined fraternity membership. He was content being alone and often "disappearecd for a while" and went on "extended solo road trips" (Krakauer 21). His goal was to find himself and his purpose. He was searching for his true meaning of life and have the chance to start over. Chris wanted to "invent and utterly new life for himself, one in which he would be free to wallow in unfiltered experience" (Krakauer 22-23). Chris was called to be free from the "stifling world of his parents and peers..in which he felt grievously cut off from the raw throb of existence" (Krakauer 22). | The Call

2: Refusal of the Call | "[Chris] had spent the previous four years, as he saw it, preparing to fulfill an absurd and onerous duty: to graduate" (Krakauer22). Chris McCandless was no doubt called to a quest, but it took him a while to get started. To please his parents he waited until he graduated from college. He did not tell them when he planned on leaving, or anyone else for that matter, and did not want them to think "anything was up" (Krakauer 22). He had been planning a road trip for quite some time, yet he waited to go.

4: Supernatural Aid | During Chris's journey, he came into contact with many people who could be considered as mentors, but one stood out the most and had the greatest impact on his life. That man was Wayne Westerberg. He provided Chris with transportation, a job, a home, gave advice and truly cared about his well-being. He could always tell something was nagging at Chris's inner spirit, "but [he] never asked about it" (Krakauer 18). Chris "developed a lasting bond with both the town and Wayne" and enjoyed his company (Krakauer 19). He had planned on coming back to visit Wayne after his journeys came to an end.

5: Crossing the First Threshold | Chris left his apartment shortly after graduation without informing anyone of his whereabouts. His parents took a road trip to visit him in August, but he was nowhere to be found. "Five weeks earlier he'd loaded all his belongings into his little car and headed west without an itinerary" (Krakauer 22). Prior to leaving, Chris gave "$25,000 in savings to [a] charity" which fought hunger, "abandoned most of his possessions, and burned all the cash in his wallet" (Krakauer cover). He also changed his name to "Alexander Supertramp, master of his own destiny" (Krakauer 23).

6: Belly of the Whale | The point of no return for Chris was when he left his car, "a beloved 1982 Datsun B210" down by the river bead of Lake Mead. (Krakauer 21). He decided to continue his new lifestyle of wondering by foot and left a note on the windshield saying, "this piece of shit has been abandoned. Whoever can get it out of here can have it" (Krakauer 26). Later when authorities found his car it was a useful tool. It was " A freebie from the road gods" which was used in undercover drug busts (Krakauer 27).

9: The Road of Trials | Chris, now being a foot traveler, faced many obstacles. He often hitchhiked and snuck onto trains to travel to his next destination. Rail riding had a few drawbacks though. He was caught several times and "interrogated at gunpoint" in which he could have been killed (Krakauer 53). He never knew where his next meal would come from and had no schedule. The only thing he knew for certain was that, one day, he would get to the Stampede Trail in the Alaskan wilderness.

10: Chris relied solely on Mother Nature for the last months of his life, which were spent in Alaska on the Stampede trail. He went into the wilderness "to explore the inner country of his own soul" and developed a "strong emotional bond with, that land and all it holds" (Krakauer 183). Mother Nature lead him in the right direction of his journey and helped him to realize things he never did before. Also she was a provider of the food that kept him alive throughout his wanderings. | Meeting with the Goddess

12: Chris faced many temptations throughout his adventure. The people he came in contact with always tried to talk him into writing to his family back home. Some encouraged him to stay a few extra weeks in their care. Wayne Westerberg asked him to "postpone his departure and work a week or two longer" but Chris did not give in (Krakauer 67). His mind was set on one thing and one thing alone: Alaska. Wayne noted, "Once Alex made up his mind about something, there was no changing it" (Krakauer 67). | Temptation Away From the True Path

13: Atonement with the Father | After a couple months in Alaska, Chris came to a realization that he could be happy all along. In his journal he wrote "HAPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED." (Krakauer 189). He often capitalized his notes that stood out to him the most. With this realization Chris was able to better understand himself and why he had disappeared like he did. It was good for him, to get away from people because once he was gone, he found out he needed others to be happy.

14: Apotheosis | Coming towards the end of his journey, Chris found his "aha! moment." He came to the realization that "the only certain happiness in life is to live for others" (Krakauer 169). He wanted to make himself useful to the people around him and do good to the people who deserved it. He no longer wanted to seclude himself from the outside world, but to thrive in a community where good people help each other out, as everyone should do. Chris had a good heart and mindset towards all people and realized his purpose was to make a difference in the world around him, and he was ready.

16: Refusal of the Return | After two months, the time had come for Chris to return from the wilderness. He did not refuse to go back to a normal lifestyle. He had reached his goal and attained his purpose. He lived solely off the land and the work of his two hands, a task not many could say they have done. Chris was "satisfied with what he learned in two months of solitude..[and] seemed ready, perhaps, to go home" (Krakauer 168). We do not know Chris' inner thoughts about leaving, "but we know he intended to leave" (Krakauer 169).

17: Master of Two Worlds | When the time came for Chris McCandless to come home, he was going with a new sense of self. He was a changed person, eager to tell of his journeys and life realizations. "McCandless's long, lonely sabbatical had changed him in some significant way" (Krakauer 189). He had planned on changing his current lifestyle and to "become a member of the human community" (Krakauer 189). At this time he faced one last obstacle: he was too weak from starvation and disease to leave his camp, inside Fairbanks bus 142, where he died on August 19th.

18: Works Cited | Alaskan wilderness. n. d. J. Riley Realty. Alaska Wilderness Trails. Web. 9 April 2011. . Brian, Nesslinger. Alaskan Wilderness. 2008. EsslingerBrians photos. IgoUgo. Web. 9 April 2011. Datsun. n. d. Down on the Street. Jalopnik. Web. 9 April 2011. .

19: Diploma. n. d. NGA. Teacher Project Examples. Web. 9 April 2011. . Happiness only real when shared. n. d. Yahoo. Flickr. Web. 9 April 2011. . | Diploma. n. d. NGA. Teacher Project Examples. Web. 9 April 2011. . Happiness only real when shared. n. d. Yahoo. Flickr. Web. 9 April 2011. . Into the Wild cover. n. d. Teen Review: Into the Wild. Teen Books (and beyond!). Web. 9 April 2011. . John. Seva. 2009. Yoga. Yoga with John dot com. Web. 9 April 2011.

20: Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor Books, 1996. Print. Lake Mead. n. d. Beautiful Lake Mead. Tripod. Web. 9 April 2011. . Lee, Jessica. Into the Wild. 2007. Epic Escapism. The Indypendent. Web. 9 April 2011. Readingshrimp. Train Tracks. 2011. Japan Relief Efforts Fund Drive. Readingshrimp.com. Web. 9 April 2011.

21: Yield Sign. n. d. Foto Search Stock Photos. Foto Search. Web. 9 April 2011. .

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