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What are the major differences and similarities between the Into the Wild book and...

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mcake | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted December 27, 2009 at 2:16 AM via web

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What are the major differences and similarities between the Into the Wild book and movie?

Name a scene that was left out of the film. Was it a good decision?

Name a scene that was added to the film. Was it the right thing to do?

Did you personally like the movie or book best?

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted December 27, 2009 at 9:10 AM (Answer #1)

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I have to state that I found both versions of the story of the life of Chris McCandless' life and death interesting.  The main difference between the book and the movie is that the book is a reflection on the life of a young man who socially isolates himself from the world, and the move is more of a romantic notion of the adventures of Chris McCandless. 

The book is more of an autobiography of Chandler's life based upon notes he wrote and letters from people and interviews with people who knew him.  The movie takes more lenience in that it gives Chris McCandless relationships with people that probably did not develop in the manner as presented in the film.  He was a loner.  He chose to be a loner.  In the book it talks about him being moody.  I did not identify that much in the movie.  In the movie he seemed like a nice guy who just wanted to explore Alaska.  I thought of him more as a man on an adventure than someone trying to socially isolate himself from family and friends. In the book he is more an anti establishment kind of guy who wants to be left alone to do as he pleases with no strings attached.

 In both presentations his death is the final act of poor judgement on  McCandless' behalf. 

Scenes left out of the movie were those from McCandless' childhood.  In the book readers are made aware that he had a defiance to him early on.  Another left out scene was when his parents go to the bus to claim his body.  I can not say that these things would have added to the movie.  They may have adjusted the viewers feelings about McCandless and also his parents.  However, they were not necessary elements to make him seem like the simple wanderer/adventurer.  In truth McCandless' was more like the person in the book, but the movie is good cinema and makes for enjoyable watching. 

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user367771 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 14, 2013 at 2:55 PM (Answer #2)

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I have written an essay for my grade 12 English class on the similarities and differences between the book and the novel, and the answer you gave was almost the exact same as mine. The movie romanticized Chris' life more than the novel. You just reassured my opinion, thanks.

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