In the Epilogue of Into the Wild, what do you think Walt McCandless learns about his son on that trip? 

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cldbentley | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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When Walt and Billie McCandless travel into the Alaskan wilderness via helicopter in order to visit the site of their son's death, each of them seems to find a sense of peace and understanding regarding his passing.  Walt, who could not comprehend his son's motives for abandoning his family, his prospective future success, and his money, concedes the point that the location of the bus in which Chris died "has a certain beauty.  I can see what appealed to Chris." 

The fact that Walt can finally understand, at least to some degree, what attraction Chris's camp in Denali National Park held for the young man is a relief to Walt.  It seems that finding some intrinsic value in the setting allows Walt some comfort; he learns that Chris apparently had a real reason for doing what he did, rather than simply wanting to be away from his family.


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