Into The Wild Discussion/Seminar/Writing Prompt Questions

Into The Wild Discussion/Seminar/Writing Prompt Questions

Into The Wild Discussion/Seminar/Writing Prompt Questions Krakauer’s telling of Christopher McCandless’s story raises some interesting questions. Questions like: Philosophical Was McCandless mentally ill and/or suicidal and/or a romantic dreamer in over his head OR did he have a possibly-ahead-of-his-time idea that living in a consumer capitalist society is a trap to be avoided? In response to this story, is there a way to live a more meaningful and authentic life without going to the extremes that McCandless did? What would that look like? How would it work? Krakauer’s Into The Wild and Strayed’s Wild have clear similarities. For one thing, they both tell the stories of real-life people who escape into the wilderness because they are unhappy with their lives, and they both hope that in nature they will find a way to live more meaningfully in the world. Are there ways that these stories are interesting in comparison to each other? Is one better? Worse? More effective? Less effective? At the heart of the tension between McCandless and his parents (and, for that matter, between Krakauer and his father) is an age-old question… when there is a disconnect between what our parents want for us, and what we want for ourselves, how can/should that conflict be resolved? Structural Why does Krakauer jump all over the place in the telling of McCandless’s story? He is an award-winning journalist – there must be some reason why he thinks this is the best way to tell this story. Do you have a theory? Krakauer inserts himself into the narrative in a way that is highly unusual for journalists. Do you find this makes the story more interesting, or do you find it a distraction? Why do you think he does this? Krakauer knows a lot about McCandless’s thoughts and motivations (both from talking to people McCandless confided in and from reading McCandless’s journals). Sometimes, however, Krakauer seems to go beyond what he could possibly have know, and presumes to tell us what McCandless was thinking. In fiction this would be called an omniscient narrator. In nonfiction it’s highly unusual. What do you think about it? You are asked to wrestle with any ONE of the questions above. Think about the issue, your response to the issue, and then respond by… writing a personal response of 250-to-350 words writing a song or poem that speaks to the topic – with explanation finding a song or poem that speaks to the topic, and writing about how and why those things connect making a piece of visual art that speaks to the topic – with explanation finding a piece of visual art that speaks to the topic, and writing about how and why those things connect