What are some significant quotes from Into the Wild?

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Individual readers are going to find multiple quotes with varying significance to each reader, so feel free to pick some quotes and explain why it is significant. For me, I like one of the early quotes from McCandless found in chapter one.

Gallien asked whether he had a hunting license. “Hell, no,” Alex scoffed.

“How I feed myself is none of the government’s business. Fuck their stupid rules.”

I like this quote a lot because it very quickly alerts readers to a lot of McCandless's personality and motivations. By this point in the book, we don't know much about McCandless, but the quote shows that he is quite adamant about his business being his business. The use of a swear word and "stupid" really drives home his feelings about the government.

I've also really liked the quote from his third grade teacher.

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

This quote further implants into the minds of readers that McCandless didn't necessarily grow into being an independent loner after he discovered his father's affair. It shows that McCandless has always been a free-spirited, independent person.

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Two very significant quotes come from Chris's personal writings. In the first one, he had just buried his possessions in order to prevent theft and mentions that not having a camera means that he cannot take pictures to document his experiences.

It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found. God it's great to be alive!

This quote shows the influence of transcendentalism on Chris's life, and the appeal of his personal ideals; without the material pictures or a concrete method of recording his life, Chris can focus entirely on his memories, which can become greater with time. A picture can bring back memories of how real and physical experiences are, while memories can become almost mythical.

The second quote comes from a sheet of plywood on which Chris scratched what might be a personal creed. The last lines show his determination, his defiance of societal norms, and his joy at being able to live his dreams:

no longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.
alexander supertramp MAY 1992
([sic] Krakauer, Into the Wild, Amazon.com)

Both these quotes share Chris's desire for isolation and personal growth through self-denial; they also show that he was absolutely committed to his goals. He tended to write about himself in the third-person, and might have been intending to convert his journals into a book later on.

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What are some important quotes from Into the Wild said by Chris McCandless?

One of the earlier quotes that comes from a letter that Chris sent to his sister is very important in pointing out the kind of values that Chris had and developed in opposition to his parents and their offer to help him out financially. In response to being offered a new car, note what he says:

I'm going to have to be real careful not to accept any gifts from them in the future because they will think they have bought my respect.

This of course is crucial in the way that it presents Chris's tough independent spirit and the way that he looks down on financial wealth and money. Again, this is supported from a card he wrote to Wayne Westerburg in Chapter Four:

Tramping is too easy with all this money. My days were more exciting when I was penniless and had to forage around for my next meal.

We see the true spirit of Chris McCandless in this quote and the way that he loved nothing more than to be in the wilderness dependent on nothing more than his wits.

Lastly, I would pick the last message Chris sent to Jan Burres and Bob:

This is the last communication you shall receive from me. I now walk out to live amongst the wild.

Here we see Chris finally succeeding in achieving his goal of entering "the wild," and the way that it represented for him a definite end of an era in his life where he felt it was necessary to sever all communication and start fresh.

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What are some good quotations from the book Into The Wild?

Let's start with some general rules for finding good quotations: look at the most exciting parts, the most important parts, and the structurally significant parts. In most books, this would be the beginning and end, either of the whole book or of each chapter. In this book, you would also look at the sections in the letters, which seem to give more direct access to his mind. Finally, actual spoken dialogue yields fun quotations.

If I had to choose some, I'd start with one from the first chapter: "If you make it out alive, give me a call, and I'll tell you how to get the boots back to me." This is Gallien talking to Alex, and shows how casual folks are about life/death situations here.

I also like McCandless' farewell from Chapter 18: "I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AN D THANK THE LORD, GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL!"

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