Expository Reading and Writing
Fall Final Essay: Into The Wild
Directions: Please pick one of the essay topics below. By the day of the final, please have a typed essay completed, 2-3 pages long, double spaced, 12 point, Times New Roman Font. No matter which topic you pick, be sure to follow the rule: Support your position, providing reasons and examples from your own experience, observations, and/or reading.
1. Consider the people who befriended Chris in his journey, folks like Jan Burres and her boyfriend, Bob; Wayne Westerberg; Ronald Franz; Explain why Chris left such a strong impression on them.
2. Chris McCandless had certain literary heroes: Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy, Jack London, etc. Choose one or more of Chris’s literary heroes and analyze what he appreciated about their work as well as what he incorporated into his own philosophy of life. (This topic is manageable just from having read Into the Wild and using the bits of the writings that open each chapter. But, you will earn Extra Credit for an extended analysis of Thoreau’s Walden and its effect on Chris.).
3. “I think that Chris McCandless was bright and ignorant at the same time. He had no common sense, and he had no business going into Alaska with his romantic silliness. He made a lot of mistakes based on arrogance. I don’t admire him at all for his courage nor his noble ideas. Really, I think he was just plain crazy.” –Shaun Callarman
Explain Callarman’s argument and discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with his analysis.
4. Beyond simply not getting along with his father, do you relate to Chris? Do you feel that you understand him and what he did? Do you admire him for his goals? Have you had any experiences that you think help you better understand him?
5. Krakauer says in the