Into the Wild Questions and Answers
by Jon Krakauer

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In what chapter does Chris McCandless leave his home after graduating from college? Specifically, in what chapter do they talk about Chris McCandless leaving?

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Kale Emmerich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Chris leaves his home in chapter four of Into the Wild. His life prior to that point had been a fairly normal, suburban one—growing up in the middle class and attending college. After graduating college, however, he abruptly decided to leave his life behind, donating his savings (roughly $25,000) and taking off. He didn't tell his parents, and in fact, he instructed the post office to hold his mail for approximately a month before returning to senders so that they wouldn't realize he had departed until much later.

His tale is a cautionary one because it is very unfortunate what had happened to him. While he could still strike out on his own, it would have been better for people to have at least a general idea of where he was and how long he had been gone.

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kiwi eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The details of Chris’ graduation and then the beginning of his fatal adventure are detailed in Chapter 4.

The reader is told that he graduated in May 1990 and that his family attended his graduation service. He gave his mother a Mother’s Day gift, which was out of character as he had made the decision to refuse to give or receive gifts two years previously.

Chris was frustrated that his parents wanted to buy him a new car as a graduation present, and in the letter he wrote to his sister at the time shows that he was quite contemptuous of their lack of understanding of him-

“…I’m going to have to be real careful not to accept any gifts from them in the future because they will think they have bought my respect.”

Chris’ rejection of his parents and their ideals is further illustrated by the fact that he had his mail held before being returned to his parents so they were not aware that he had left over a month earlier. He carefully plans his departure to give himself maximum freedom:

To symbolize the complete severance from his previous life, he even adopted a new name. No longer would he answer to Chris McCandless; he was now Alexander Supertramp, master of his own destiny.

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