Into The Wild Chapter 12 Quotes

What are some significant quotes from Chapters 12-14 of "Into the Wild"?


I need the page number for every quote explained...

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teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since chapters 12 and 13 have been covered, I will focus on chapter 14. In this chapter, Krakauer records that Chris McCandless writes a postcard to his friend Wayne Westerberg, in which he says:

if this trip proves fatal and you don't ever hear from me again, I want you to know you're a great man. I now walk into the wild. (133-34)

The quote is significant for providing the title of the book. It shows that the title comes from Chris's own consciousness that his Alaskan adventure meant crossing a border into the unknown--crossing into the "wild." It reveals Chris's generosity of spirit when he calls Westerberg "a great man." It also reveals Chris's sense of drama: Chris sees this Alaskan trek as a life or death struggle, which, in fact, it proves to be. Krakauer also notes that some have used the lines about the trip being possibly fatal to argue that Chris was suicidal.

In this chapter, Krakauer wants to prove that Chris had no death wish or suicidal impulse in going by himself to the Alaskan wilderness. He does so by comparing Chris's journey to his own risky mountain climb up Devils Thumb as a young man: both were, in hindsight, foolish, but both came out of a young man's need to test himself, not out of any kind of death wish.

"My reasoning, if I can call it that, was inflamed by the scattershot passions of youth and a literary diet ... " (135)

"I was dimly aware that I might be getting in over my head. But that only added to the scheme's appeal. That it wouldn't be easy was the whole point." (135)

Krakauer also records his fear as he gets trapped for four days by a snowstorm:

As the days passed, I grew increasingly anxious. I had no radio nor any other means of communicating with the outside world. It had been years since anyone had visited this part of Stikine Ice Cap ... I was nearly out of stove fuel and down to a single chunk of cheese ...(140)

These quotes show what might have been Chris's motivations and help normalize his actions as youthful rather than unhinged. 




kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter 12-14 deal with Chris’ tempestuous relationship with his parents. Walt and Billie in particular reflect on what drove their son to his fatal end. Walt notes that-

Chris was good at almost everything he tried…which made him supremely overconfident. (p118)

Their observations assist the reader, and Krakauer, in understanding McCandless’ character-

Many aspects of Chris’ personality baffled his parents. He could be generous and caring to a fault, but he had a darker side as well, characterized by monomania, impatience, and unwavering self-absorption, (p120)

His sister Carine explains that Chris ruminated on his anger, particularly towards his parents-

He’d keep it to himself, harbouring his resentment, letting the bad feelings build and build. (p121)

Carine suggests that Chris’ risk taking may have been tempered if he had taken his dog with him. The dog was recovering from an accident and Chris had asked his parents if he could take him, but they refused. They later feel that having the dog with him may have saved Chris’ life-

Chris didn’t think twice about risking his own life, but he never would have put Buckley in any danger. There’s no wayhe would have taken the same kind of chances if Buck had been with him. (p128)

Chris’ mother Billie was frustrated at her son’s attraction to danger, and says in chapter 13-

I just don’t understand why he had to take those kind of chances,(p132)

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Into the Wild

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