With reference to Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild, was Chris McCandless intelligent?

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In the preface to his book about the late Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild, author Jon Krakauer provides some pertinent background into his human subject’s life—information that illuminated the paradoxical nature of McCandless’s final months on this earth. Newspapers are daily filled with reports about the deaths of lower-income men, many quite young and African American. These reports have pretty much lost their ability to astonish or even to disappoint. We have come to expect that inner-city life for ethnic minorities who have endured generations of prejudice will invariably fall afoul of the law or die violently by the hands of others who fit the same demographic description. The story of the life and death of Chris McCandless, however, fascinates precisely because its protagonist’s background would logically lead to expectations of professional success and financial affluence. Was McCandless intelligent? Read the following passages from Krakauer’s “Author’s Note”:

(The entire section contains 1068 words.)

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