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In "Into the Wild", what similarities and differences do you see between Chris and...

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warren9053 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 7, 2011 at 3:47 PM via web

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In "Into the Wild", what similarities and differences do you see between Chris and Ruess, Waterman, McCunn, and Rossellini?

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted March 24, 2012 at 8:11 AM (Answer #1)

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The main similarities between these men and MCandless is their single-minded determination to conquer some aspect of nature and of themselves.

Krakauer explains the reasons for highlighting the stories of these other adventurers-

 Some insight into the tragedy of Chris McCandless can be gained by studying predecessors cut from the same exotic cloth.

Carl McGunn kept a journal where he detailed his decline before taking his own life. Waterman was undoubtedly deeply affected by his parents’ divorce just like McCandless struggled to cope with his own complex family relationships. Ruess’ letters were very like those which McCandless sent as he travelled, and both were described as “reckless” by people they encountered. Rosselini equalled if not exceeded the intelligence of McCandless. Krakauer notes in Chapter 8-

Like Rossellini and Waterman, McCandless was a seeker and had an impractical fascination with the harsh side of nature. Like Waterman and McGunn, he displayed a staggering paucity of common sense.



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kandi125 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 17, 2015 at 2:25 AM (Answer #2)

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1. After venturing into the wild, Chris, Ruess, Waterman, McCunn, and Rossellini started going by assumed names they had given themselves. 2. All of them left modern conveniences behind to experience nature and discover something more within themselves. 3. They all died in the wild. 4. Chris and McCunn seemed to have died from starvation and freezing temperatures.


1. Chris ventured into the wild to achieve spiritual growth, whereas Ruess wanted to wonder in the wild to experience the beauty of nature first-hand. Waterman, however, wanted to make a solo ascent on an untravelled path to Mt.Hunter, the south face of Denali. Rossellini went into the wild to live primitively without modern technology, but McCunn's journey into the wild was aimed at photographing wildlife.

2. Rossellini committed suicide, but Waterman is assumed to have fallen in a deep crack or crevice in the mountain. Ruess' cause of death is uncertain.


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