Reading Chapters 16–18: Into the Alaskan Wild
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Krakauer finally givs us some detail about Chris's time in the Alaskan bush. We see Chris as a more dynamic and realistic character than before. McCandless does seem to undergo some changes, though, beyond the physical losing weight. He is devastated when he kills a moose and then has to essentially waste all of it because he can’t preserve it successfully, yet he fairly quickly realizes that he has to let this disappointment go, which is a new and more mature reaction from the intensely passionate man. Similarly, his original plan is to spend the time in the wilderness on the move, perhaps hiking almost five hundred miles, but when after a week or two of trying to move every day, he realizes this is much more difficult and slow going than he expected, he heads back to the bus, and doesn’t seem nearly as upset with having to give up or change his plans as he would’ve been in the past, for example, with his Mexico trip. Although these are fairly small examples, they hint at McCandless becoming a more dynamic character, capable of learning, growing and changing. I think we needed the rest of the book to give us some kind of context into Chris's personality before Krakauer takes us to this final point.