How are chapters 8 and 9 of Into the Wild alike?

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Jonathan Beutlich, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Chapters 8 and 9 from Jon Krakauer's book Into the Wild are alike because they both focus on the same topic.  That topic is Krakauer's information on other historical figures that he believes are similar to Chris McCandless.  

Chapters 8 and 9 are my least favorite chapters from the book.  They are interesting, but they are not about Chris.  I found that slightly annoying.  However, I do appreciate Krakauer's attempt to show that while Chris was definitely an oddity, he was not the only person of his type.  

Chapter 8 focuses on Gene Rossellini and John Waterman.  Both men, like Chris, lost their lives in Alaska.  Both men were independent sorts that wanted to live off the land and found peace through a solitary life.  

Chapter 9 focuses on Everett Ruess.  The similarities between Chris and Ruess are striking.  Both began their solitary adventure as young men.  Both men didn't avoid companionship, but both men didn't want it for very long.  

We like companionship, see, but we can’t stand to be around people for very long. So we go get ourselves lost, come back for a while, then get the hell out again. And that’s what Everett was doing.

Both Everett and Chris took on aliases, and both men didn't seem concerned with physical discomforts.  

Also like McCandless, Ruess was undeterred by physical discomfort; at times he seemed to welcome it.

Like I said, I didn't particularly enjoy the departure from Chris's adventure that happened in chapters 8 and 9, but I did appreciate Krakauer's comparisons between Chris and other men.  

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