Are there any examples of anecdotes, allusions, analogies, or irony in this book?  I need help ASAP!!!

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are definitely examples of irony in Into the Wild. One part that I have always found ironic is that McCandless donated his money to OXFAM America.  OXFAM America is a hunger relief organization.  The irony concerning McCandless's donation is that he later died from starvation.  

As for an allusion, I have always liked how Krakauer frequently compares McCandless to a variety of historical figures.  Krakauer frequently alludes to similarities and differences between McCandless and Thoreau.  For example:

Unlike Muir and Thoreau, McCandless went into the wilderness not primarily to ponder nature or the world at large but, rather, to explore the inner country of his own soul. 

In this particular passage, Krakauer is calling to attention a key difference between McCandless and men like Muir and Thoreau.  The text provides a bit of information of what that difference is, but the allusion to those men becomes much more informative if the reader is somewhat familiar with who those two men are and what they did.  

Large portions of the book are made up of analogies and anecdotes.  Anecdotes are typically short, and Krakauer does provide those during the text, but I believe the best anecdotes in the book are contained within chapters 8 and 9.  These two chapters compare and contrast McCandless with 4 specific men.  Each description functions as both an anecdote and an analogy for how and why McCandless was different from each of those men. 

cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are definitely examples of each of the four literary terms you mentioned (anecdotes, allusions, analogies, and irony) in the novel   Into the Wild.  Irony plays a powerful role in the story of Christopher McCandless; his death in the Alaskan wilderness is incredibly ironic.  McCandless worked and longed for so long to reach a place of solitude in the Alaskan setting, yet his presence there resulted in his death.  That, in and of itself, is an irony.  It appears that, prior to his death, McCandless recognized his innate need for love, yet he had placed himself in a situation that would not allow him to act upon that recognition.  It is also ironic that, had McCandless simply researched what would become his surroundings in the wild and accepted information, he probably would have been aware of a means by which he could have survived his ordeal.

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Into the Wild

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