What are some important quotes from Chapters 9-11 of "Into the Wild"?Need Page Number

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cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter Nine, page 96, Ken Sleight, who is considered somewhat of an expert on the subject of Everett Ruess and his adventures in the wilderness, compares Ruess and Christopher McCandless:

"Everett was strange," Sleight concedes. "Kind of different. But him and McCandless, at least they tried to follow their dream.  That's what was great about them.  They tried.  Not many do."

One of the reasons this quote may be considered important is that it may cause the reader to consider the actions of McCandless in a more "pure" light, as opposed to being centered on selfishness or inconsideration; the reader may more easily forgive McCandless for his lack of preparation.

On page 102 of Chapter Ten, Sam McCandless, who had received a phone call informing him of his younger half-brother's death, says

"...I knew right away.  There was no doubt.  It was Chris.  I went home, picked up Michele, my wife, and drove out to Maryland to tell Dad and Billie.  I didn't know what I was going to say.  How do you tell someone that their child is dead?"

Earlier in the chapter (page 101), Sam recalls reading an article about an unnamed hiker who had died in the Alaskan wilderness and being unaware of the hiker's identity.

It didn't occur to me that the hiker might be Chris.  Never even crossed my mind.  It's ironic because when I read the article I thought, 'Oh, my God, what a terrible tragedy.  I really feel sorry for the family of this guy, whoever they are.  What a sad story.'

These  two quotes from Sam McCandless illustrate the conflicting emotions and shock that must have assailed the McCandless clan and those close to "Alex," such as Wayne Westerberg.

Chapter Eleven discloses a lot of information regarding Chris's family, especially his mother, father, and little sister.  A better understanding of the dynamics of the home in which Chris was raised allows the reader to form more powerful opinions of Chris's actions as an adult and to better consider the results of his abandonment of this family as it pertains to those individuals.  On page 104, Walt McCandless voices the question that must have tormented his family:

"How is it," he wonders aloud as he gazes blankly across Chesapeake Bay," that a kid with so much compassion could cause his parents so much pain?"

sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

From chapter 11, I like the following quote.

"His teacher pulled us aside and told us that 'Chris marches to a different drummer.'"

This is a good quote because it shows readers that Chris's tendency to go off and do his own thing is not a new personality trait of his. He has always been his own person, and he has always been confident in being different and doing things his own way.  

From chapter 10, I've always liked the following quote.  

Westerberg pawed through the files at the grain elevator until he found two W-4 forms McCandless had filled out. Across the top of the first one, dating from McCandless’s initial visit to Carthage, in 1990, he had scrawled “EXEMPT EXEMPT EXEMPT EXEMPT” and given his name as Iris Fucyu. Address: “None of your damn business.” Social Security number: “I forget.”

The reason that it's a good quote is because it reminds readers of an exchange that McCandless had with Gallien in the first chapter of the book. Gallien had just asked if McCandless had a hunting license, and McCandless gave an angry retort that showed what he thought about the government.  

“Hell, no,” Alex scoffed. “How I feed myself is none of the government’s business. Fuck their stupid rules.”

The chapter 10 quote further shows readers that McCandless doesn't just verbally complain about the government. McCandless is willing to tell the government off in a direct  document.  

In chapter 9, the author draws parallels between McCandless and Ruess. By this point in the novel, it is clear that McCandless feels a very strong pull to being out in the wilderness on his own. He's at peace in the wild, and Krakauer includes excerpts from Ruess's letters that show how he and McCandless had similar thoughts about the wild. 

I have been thinking more and more that I shall always be a lone wanderer of the wilderness. God, how the trail lures me. You cannot comprehend its resistless fascination for me. After all the lone trail is the best. . . . I’ll never stop wandering. And when the time comes to die, I’ll find the wildest, loneliest, most desolate spot there is.


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Into the Wild

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