Into the Wild

Chapters 16-18: Into the Alaskan Wild

Krakauer provides a lot of quotations from McCandless's journal in these chapters. What is McCandless talking about? Why did Krakauer include these selections?

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The final section of Into the Wild is especially tragic, in that it shows that McCandless, at least from what little evidence is available from his last weeks, had matured, and was ready to rejoin society. There is some evidence, in the notes he made in the books he read, for example, that he was rethinking his stance on forgiveness, and on intimacy, and would maybe have become capable of being close to other people again. Unfortunately, his ignorance about the condition of the Teklanika, his insistence on visiting “uncharted territory,” by not brining a map, meant once he was ready, mentally and emotionally, to leave, he physically could not. In this we see another example of the motif of McCandless almost being saved, as had he only known about the basket crossing the Teklanika, he almost certainly would have survived.