Krakauer explains in his Author's Note that he aims to "leave it to the reader to form his or her own opinion" of Chris. How did you react.Are you sympathetic to chris, if so, when? do you think...
Are you sympathetic to chris, if so, when? do you think krakauer supports or understands Chris's choices?
As I read Into the Wild, I found myself disliking Chris, which made me very unsympathetic toward him. I felt that he received the attention and help of many kindhearted and generous people, but failed to return it except when it suited him or when he needed something they had not already given. In addition, I felt that his death in the wilderness was based solely on his own stupidity in venturing into a set of circumstances with he was not familiar without having made the proper preparations and purchases; although McCandless had spent time in difficult territory and conditions, he had not done so in an environment akin to that of the Alaskan wilderness. However, after watching the movie, I felt somewhat more sympathetic toward McCandless and was better able to foster some degree of compassion toward him. I feel that the shared similarities of Krakauer's life and that of his subject afford him a sense of understanding for Chris, though he may not fully support all of his decisions.
After I finished reading Into the Wild, I felt discouraged at the waste of life on Chris's part but not necessarily sympathetic toward him. He made his choices and seemingly believed in survival of the fittest; so he does not elicit sympathy from most.
Krakauer is an adept writer and always manages to maintain a journalistic tone, even when he is a participant in his "story" (i.e., Into Thin Air). I think that he does an excellent job in remaining objective toward Chris so that readers can form their own opinions of a troubled young man who caused most of his own troubles.
What's attractive about Chris is the idea of divorcing myself from life's complexities and living without a mortgage, a car, a long term job and all the responsibilities that go with them. While very few of us have the guts to do this, it's fun to live vicariously through Chris in that respect.
I'm not a big fan of Krakauer's either. I think he's something of a tabloid journalist masquerading as an author, so his book comes across as making what McCandless did as more noble than foolish.