The author’s note is important because it introduces the reader to Krakauer’s story and his writing style. We discover that this book started out as a magazine article and provoked a lot of repsonses, both positive and negative. Krakauer informs us that he uses anecdotes, or personal stories from his life and others to give insight to Chris McCandless. He wants us to make our own opinions about Chris instead of just telling us his views. Krakauer also mentions that he uses multiple genres and materials in his book, such as interviews, maps, letters, postcards, and excerpts from books.
Transcendentalism = new ideas about literature, religion, culture, society, and philosophy that emerged mostly in New England in the mid-1800s. This movement focused on the power of the individual.
Major Players = Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Margaret Fuller
Major Works = Walden, Self-Reliance, Civil Disobedience, Nature
Values = nature, intuition
They believed that there was an ideal spiritual state that was more important than the physical state of being. Truth can be found within all humans, and therefore man was divine and could share divinity with all life.
The individual was more important than society. A person must be independent, true to his/herself, and trust his/her instincts. Education is important, as is God, but not in an institutional sense. Both could be sought out anywhere. Self-knowledge and self-awareness are important for a good relationship with God, a good education, and success.
What is Happiness? How would YOU find it?
Chris McCandless Groups
1 — LAO, AVB, JVW, SDB
2 — DJB, SSA, EJL, CJT
3 — SLO, LFN, AG, CRS
4 — RB, AH, WGM, EBP
Alexander Supertramp Groups
1 — LAO, CJT, AG, AH
2 — JVW, EJL, LFN, RB
3 — SSA, SDB, CRS, WGM
4 — AVB, DJB, SLO, EBP
In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters…