Forge connections between Into the Wild and the American Dream.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not sure that the vision of the American Dream is going to fully mesh with what Krakauer has presented.  I think that there might be some examination of the limitations in both Chris and how the American Dream can be perceived, though.  On one hand, I think that a connection between both could be how there is a sense of the self- absorbed in both elements.  Chris is absorbed with his own demons, whether they are focused on society or his own parents, and the American Dream demands, to a great extent, a sense of the self- absorbed and the belief that nothing can stand in the way of one's pursuits.  Chris not being able to "see the forest for the trees" and his insistence to do things his way in terms of not fully grasping what he was confronting in his desire to go "into the wild" could be a part of this.  On a more theoretical level, the idea of the "wilderness" and how it is a part of the "American" sense of character and its dreams is also evident in the narrative.  Chris forges on his own, cutting himself off from other elements, in order to pursue his own subjective vision regardless of what others might say or belief.  This is similar to the American Dream in what it demands and how it focuses on the appropriation of the world in accordance to one's own subjectivity.  In this, another connection between Chris and the American Dream can be seen.

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Into the Wild

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