How does my fake journal entry I wrote for Chris McCandless fit Chapter 16 of Into the Wild? My assignment was to write a poem, journal entry, or anything as if I were McCandless. My journal entry is below: In mid-May I just highlighted two passages “Family Happiness” it said “He was right in saying that the only certain happiness in life is to live for others”: “I have lived through so much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them: then work which one hopes may be of some use: then rest, nature, books, music, love for ones neighbor—such is my idea of happiness. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps-- what more can the heart of a man desire?” After about 3 months I have decided to return to civilization. What I have learned from my past months of isolation in the wilderness: I can’t sit in solitude forever, I have found that I should live my life for others, maybe what I’m looking for here would come from a relationship with people. Maybe I should forgive my parents for what they done. Before I go back I have to patch my jeans, shave, and organize my pack. I’ve encountered an obstacle; the Teklanika River is too high to cross. I’m not very good at swimming I think its best to turn back to the bus, it’s a disaster, and it’s simply suicidal to cross the river.

Expert Answers

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I like this initial response, and I think you have come up with a number of great ideas. Here are a few more ideas to help you develop this assignment and get an even better mark. You might want to develop what specifically Chris learnt from his months of solitude and how he has changed as a result. It was always his intention and dream to stay for longer in Alaska, so you need to explain fully why he chose to attempt to leave earlier. You might even have him thinking about some of the many characters he met along the way and thinking about those relationships and how important they are to him, as he realises it now.

Lastly, I would write a lot more about what Chris felt and experienced when he tries to leave and can't. Would he berate himself for not realising the impact of sping on the ice in Alaska? How would he feel? We are told later by the author of this great book that if he had a map, he would have realised that he could have crossed the river in another location, very close to where he was. Would he wish that he had taken a map? I guess that having decided to make such a big decision, and then to have that choice taken away from him, is going to make Chris feel upset, frustrated and annoyed. You need to try and capture that in his feelings.

Good luck, though! This is a great start and by considering my questions you should be able to get a good grade.

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