What was Jon Krakaeurs purpose for writing Into the Wild?why did he write it? Puurpose? what effect was he trying to give the readers?

3 Answers

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The notion of how individuals exist in a state of nature might be a component of the work's essence.  Shedding modern day materialism and reverting back into a state of nature has been something that has fascinated thinkers for quite a while and left its mark on how individuals view themselves and their social order.  Certainly, this can be a part of what the work is about.  The ability to define oneself away from the trapping of the social setting is of vital importance because it goes to the heart of the fundamental question that envelops all of us:  Who am I?  It seems that once this question is brought out, the work's meaning gains in significance and understanding.  In examining the Christopher, we are able to examine a part of our own sense of who we are and what constitutes our very identities.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Krakaeus is a somewhat eccentric writer but also a very intelligent one. His life shows that he has certain things he sort of obsesses about, and this was one of them: The real-life death of Christopher McCandless, who got lost in the wildnerness in Alaska, and his body was found starved to death.

Prior to writing "Into the Wild" Krakause had written an article called "Death of an Innocent", which is a detailed account (and a bit fictionalized) of what happened when Christopher McCandless left for that hiking trail which ultimately caused his death.

Krakause has always had a theory that McCandless was not starved to death, but poisoned by the "Eskimo potato" which is a vegetable that grows in the wilderness, but which also develops a form of fungus that blocks the digestive track and does not allow nourishment.

Therefore, aside from telling a story that personally touched him, his purpose was to determine what could have happened that day in the trail

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Jon Kraker probably wrote the Book "Into the Wild" because he can rel;ate in many aspects to Chris McChandless.  John is known for his love of the outdoors and the Alaskan wilderness.  Jon also had experience with hiking.  He traveled to Alaska in 1974.  He climbed the Arrigetch Peaks in the Brooks Range.  His primary interests at the time were in writing about nature. 

Jon was not a trained writer.  He transitioned from writing about nature to writing about other topics because he was aware that he could not make a living in his field unless he ventured out.  He developed an obsession about Chris McCandless after hearing his story.  He went in search to find out more about Chris.  He has developed a friendship with Chris' parents and continues to lecture and shows slides of Chris.  He said in an interview about his relationship with Chris whom he had never met:

"I identify with him a lot, and it's a sad story. I went back to the bus for the third time last September. I've become quite good friends with his family, we have sort of this weird bond."