Christopher McCandless gives his money to charity in Chapter 3, entitled "Carthage."
Chapter 3 recounts Chris's graduation from college and his activities immediately thereafter. Chris had received "a forty-thousand-dollar bequest left by a friend of the family;" the money had paid for the final two years of his education at Emory University in Atlanta, and at the time of his graduation, "more than twenty-four thousand dollars" remained in Chris's account. Chris's parents had assumed that he would use the remaining money to go to law school, but to their surprise, they soon found that he had donated the entire sum to OXFAM America, "a charity dedicated to fighting hunger."
Although Chris had dutifully completed the requirements to earn a degree in history and anthropology, he planned, once he graduated, to do exactly what he had yearned to do all his life. Announcing to his parents that, "on principle, he would no longer give or accept gifts," he shed virtually all trappings of materialism, cut himself off from family and acquaintances, and took to the road. Donating all his money to charity was the first in a series of gestures in Chris McCandless's declaration of his own emancipation. After graduation, he essentially separated himself from all ties, obligations, and acts of conformity, and spent the rest of his short life as a vagabond, inventing "an unfettered new life for himself, one in which he would be free to wallow in unfiltered experience."
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is the story of Chris McCandless, a young man from an upper middle class family who desired to live a simple, self-sufficient life. The story is not told in strict chronological order. Instead, Krakauer starts in medias res by describing how Chris hitchhiked into Denali National Park on Tuesday, April 28, 1992. Jim Gallien, who gave him the ride, describes him as appearing unprepared for his attempt to live in the wilderness. The second chapter of the book describes how the body of Chris McCandless was found by a couple of hikers and three hunters on September 6, 1992.
It is in the third chapter of the book that we move back in time to when Chris McCandless attended Emory University and upon graduation decided to donate the remainder of his inheritance to OXFAM America and set off to live a Thoreau-like life outside what he regarded as the inequities and constraints of the capitalist world, setting off for life on the road and in the wild.