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

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Krakauer mentions these men in an attempt to better understand McCandless's motivations. These men were similar in that they all went into the wilderness alone and eventually died, but their reasons for doing so were quite different. Unlike Rosselini, the "mayor of hippy cove" who was engaged in a kind of "experiment" to see if it was possible to live as a Stone Age person, McCandless was not trying to "prove" anything. Unlike Waterman, whose determination to make a solo ascent of Denali was the result of extreme emotional trauma, McCandless was not mentally ill. And unlike McCunn, who was airlifted into the bush and "forgot" to arrange for a return flight, McCandless was not incompetent.

Perhaps the best comparison to McCandless was Ruess, who, like McCandless, came from a privileged background and was seduced by the beauty of the Utah wilderness. While it is unclear how Ruess died, it seems clear that, like McCandless, Ruess's deep affinity for natural beauty caused him lose sight of...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 788 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 26, 2020
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