From Into the Wild, was Westerberg successful in persuading Chris to not travel to Alaska?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Chris McCandless returned to South Dakota to live and work with Wayne Westerberg, he always intended to leave eventually and go to Alaska. This, Wayne thought, was to be Chris's big trip, his adventure in the wilderness that would allow him to "find himself" and then think about settling down. While Wayne never thought he could convince Chris to abandon the trip, he did attempt to give him more reasons to stay, including the promise of work:

...[Westerberg] asked McCandless to postpone his departure and work a week or two longer. McCandless wouldn't even consider it. "Once Alex made up his mind about something, there was no changing it," Westerberg laments. "I even offered to buy him a plane ticket to Fairbanks, which would have let him work an extra ten days and still get to Alaska..."
(Krakauer, Into the Wild,]

He even introduced Chris to his family, and while they all became fast friends, Wayne was unable to convince Chris to stay in South Dakota. The idea of his big trip was simply too desirable, and Chris was determined to pit himself against the wilderness and come out on top. Wayne, while ultimately unable to save Chris's life, was instrumental in identifying his body and bringing closure to his family.


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Into the Wild

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