Chapters 1-2 Summary and Analysis

The story opens with the introduction of Jim Gallien, a union electrician who was the last person to see Christopher McCandless before he embarked on his fateful journey into the wild. Gallien was on his way to Anchorage, Alaska, when he picked up a hitchhiker a few miles out of Fairbanks. The hitchhiker was small and wiry, said he was from South Dakota, and was twenty-four years old. He gave his name only as Alex, and asked for a ride up to the edge of Denali National Park, where he proclaimed his intention of walking into the wilderness to live off the land for awhile.

The two men talked on the two-hour drive to Denali Park. Alex struck Gallien as an intelligent, educated individual, but...

(The entire section is 1418 words.)