Into the Wild Questions and Answers
by Jon Krakauer

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How does the structure of Into the Wild contribute to the theme of the pursuit of happiness?

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Into the Wild presents two sets of parallels: physical and spiritual journeys, and the ways that those are experienced by two men—the author and his primary subject. Because Jon Krakauer already knew the basic facts of Chris McCandless’s disappearance and death, he was not setting out to solve a mystery. Rather, Krakauer was trying to understand McCandless’s motivations for actually traveling into the Alaskan wilderness but also—and in some ways more importantly—to comprehend what the other sojourner had felt he could discover about his deepest needs, including what made him happy.

The author locates that particular individual within this type of spiritual quest, especially as a quintessentially American wilderness...

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