From Into the Wild, how did Jon Krakauer see himself as similar to Chris McCandless?

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belarafon | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Jon Krakauer felt a connection with Chris as soon as he wrote the initial article on Chris's death for Outside Magazine. The story both troubled him and nagged at his curiosity until he felt compelled to write the book, tracking Chris's journey and talking with those who crossed Chris's path. Krakauer's connection with Chris is seen in his personal anecdote in Chapters 14 & 15, where he became stranded on a mountain in Alaska. He saw Chris's journey not as a deliberate death-wish, but as an accident brought on by chance. He also writes:

...I believe we were similarly affected by the skewed relationships we had with our fathers. And I suspect we had asimilar intensity, a similar heedlessness, a similar agitation of the soul.
(Krakauer, Into the Wild, Amazon.com)

Krakauer uses his personal anecdote to speak both about the inevitable accidents that occur while hiking the wilderness and his own mindset during similarly troubled youthful years. While he never had the single-minded focus on living an idealistic life inspired by Jack London and Henry David Thoreau, Krakauer still yearned for something larger than himself, as well as the forbidden desire to feel personal mortality, and believes that he and Chris shared that desire.

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