In "Into the Wild", what similarities and differences do you see between Chris and Ruess, Waterman, McCunn, and Rossellini?

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Jonathan Beutlich eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Author Jon Krakauer attempts to describe other men of similar qualities to Chris McCandless in chapters 8 and 9 of Into the Wild.  

Chapter 8 focuses on Gene Rossellini, John Waterman, and Carl McGunn. The similarities between those three men and Chris are small.  Mainly those three are men that sought solitude in the Alaskan wilderness and died.  That's what happened to Chris as well.  While all three men bear some similarities to Chris, Krakauer admits that they were still not enough like Chris to fully understand what might have made Chris "tick."  

There are similarities among Rosellini,...

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kandi125 | Student


1. After venturing into the wild, Chris, Ruess, Waterman, McCunn, and Rossellini started going by assumed names they had given themselves. 2. All of them left modern conveniences behind to experience nature and discover something more within themselves. 3. They all died in the wild. 4. Chris and McCunn seemed to have died from starvation and freezing temperatures.


1. Chris ventured into the wild to achieve spiritual growth, whereas Ruess wanted to wonder in the wild to experience the beauty of nature first-hand. Waterman, however, wanted to make a solo ascent on an untravelled path to Mt.Hunter, the south face of Denali. Rossellini went into the wild to live primitively without modern technology, but McCunn's journey into the wild was aimed at photographing wildlife.

2. Rossellini committed suicide, but Waterman is assumed to have fallen in a deep crack or crevice in the mountain. Ruess' cause of death is uncertain.

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