Comparing Into the Wild Film and Novel

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INTO THE WILD – COMPARISON CHART | The Text | The Film | Father-Son Relationship | One significant theme in Into the Wild is the alienation that Chris felt for his parents, especially his father. In the introduction of the text, Jon Krakauer, writes “in trying to understand McCandless, I inevitably came to reflect on (…) the complicated, highly charges bond that exists between fathers and sons,” indicating that this is a major theme in the text. Chris could not understand his father’s need for material objects, or the reasoning behind his failures as a father and a husband. | | Chris’ attitude to societal norms | Chris expresses his discontent and disregard for rules made by society in many ways. Some examples are when he trespassed into Mexico, when he disregarded US military zones, and when he refused to get a hunting permit.He rejects and escapes the consumerist society and detaches himself of materialistic desires, “rather than love, money, faith, fame, fairness (…) give me truth.” | The director, Sean Penn, demonstrates the development of Chris’ personality with many different film techniques. In the graduation scene, for example, the director shows Chris’s negative feelings towards materialism and society by contrasting the formality of the occasion and Chris’ informal behavior. First we see a long shot of the students in their graduation uniform, and then it cuts to a fast paced, blurred shot of Chris running onto the podium. Chris reacts to the formality and stiffness of the event, and has no respect for the norms of society. | Imagery | |

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