Into the Wild Analysis

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Summer Reading Timed Writing Revision In both Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild and Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City, the circumstance of isolation is an important factor in the development of characters. Chris McCandless, the protagonist of Into the Wild, lives his life in search of isolation as a form of personal freedom. Daniel Burnham, the protagonist of The Devil in the White City, views isolation as an environment which allows creative thought to flourish. The characters’ differing perspectives cause their personal experiences of isolation to be very unique. Comparison of the two texts reveals the idea that isolation exists in many different forms, but is not necessarily the same thing as loneliness. Into the Wild and The Devil in the White City provide historical evidence of these facts, and prove that isolation is often misinterpreted as a negative thing. Chris McCandless, like many other young adults, was an individual who liked being individual; while he was socially adept and had many friends, he often preferred solitude to social interaction. One of the primary qualities McCandless constantly exhibited was his adherence to principles. He did not simply preach that his parents were too materialistic, or state that he “won’t be as greedy” as he believes them to be. Instead, he lived by his anti-materialistic values completely, giving away all of his life savings to charity, and keeping as few possessions as he possibly could. While it could be argued that this following of principle is something to admire in McCandless, he placed these principles above the people around him. This caused him to hurt others without intending to do so, and is related to his lack of intimacy; as long as he didn’t allow others to get close to him, he never had to worry about choosing between them and his principles. His desire for isolation led McCandless to hitchhike

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