Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer's non-fiction biography about a young traveler named Chris McCandless, offers quite a few symbolic elements. At the outset of his journey, Chris burns the money in his wallet as a symbol of his disconnection with society. As he begins his trek on the Stampede Trail in Alaska, he carries with him only the "neccessities": a selection of books, including a book about edible native plants, a bag of rice, and hunting implements. These meager possessions can be seen to symbolize a desire to live a simpler, more natural life, a desire which has been shared by such famous writers as Henry David Thoreau and Edward Abbey. Finally, Krakauer hypothesizes that Chris's death was caused by a poisonous root known as "Eskimo potato." Krakauer seems to suggest with this hypothesis that even the noblest of intentions can lead to disaster if they are not paired with intelligence and preparation.
I am not sure what the assignment calls for, but many of these items can be represented in a 3D medium, whether it is clay, fiber, or the recreation of the actual object, say an old wallet with some charred bills sticking out. It sounds like an interesting assignment, regardless. Good luck!
The book "Into the Wild" is about Chris McCandless' fateful journey into the Alaskan wild that ended in his starvation and death. When I think of Chris the first thing that comes to mind is a book. He loved to read and was more comfortable with a book than he was with people. I would make it a book by Henry David Thoreau.
The next thing that I think about is his self proclaimed nickname, "Alexander Supertramp. Perhaps you could draw an old boot that looks like a hiking or army boot to represent this part of his life. He loved to wander and hike.
The last thought that I have of Chris is where he died. He was all alone in the wilderness in an abandoned school bus. I would suggest drawing a school bus. It was his final resting place and it was the one place where he had found total isolation from others.