Into the Wild

What are 4 anecdotes about Chris's youth

Chapter 11 Into the Wild

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Chris easily got A’s in school, with the exception of an F in Physics when he refuses to do the lab reports according to the teacher’s specifications because he thinks it is pointless.

Chris shows natural talent in many things, but always a strong resistance to being coached. He would get very skilled at different sports, but always refuses to follow instructions that could take him that last bit further to greatness. He doesn’t like nuance or strategy, but only wants to tackle problems head on with brute strength and energy, which often leads to frustration.

Even in high school McCandless is caught up in serious questions, becoming obsessed with fighting racial oppression in South Africa, and spending weekends in the seedier neighborhoods of Washington, D.C., talking to prostitutes and homeless people, buying them food and giving them earnest advice on how they can improve their lives. One time he even brings a homeless person home with him and secretly sets him up in the trailer his parents have beside their house.

In the third grade, after receiving a high score on a standardized achievement test, Chris was placed in an accelerated program for gifted students. “He wasn’t happy about it,” Billie remembers, “because it meant he had to do extra schoolwork. So he spent a week trying to get himself out of the program. This little boy attempted to convince the teacher, the principal—anybody who would listen—that the test results were in error, that he really didn’t belong there. We learned about it at the first PTA meeting. His teacher pulled us aside and told us that ‘Chris marches to a different drummer.’ She just shook her head.”


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