At the end of Chapter 9, Krakauer describes Irish monks known as the papar who sought out lonely places so much that they left Iceland for Greenland when some Norwegians showed up because they thought that it had become too crowded, even though the land was nearly uninhabited. Krakauer writes, “Reading of these monks, one cannot help thinking of Everett Reuss and Chris McCandless” (97). Krakauer implies that there is some kind of similarity between Reuss, McCandless, and the papar, but instead of making a specific connection, he just says “one cannot help thinking of.” Is this a good argument? Why or why not?
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According to Chris the analogy is fair. These Irish monks didn't travel to escape persecution, to claim land or to discover. They risked their lives to find isolated places where they could practice their solitary lives untempted and undisturbed by the temptations of the material world. Similarly Chris was, or thought he was, doing something similar with his own beliefs.