Chapter 15, into the wild
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The inclusion of Krakauer’s own story in Into the Wild does seem to complicate McCandless’s story, and allows us to see, if not into McCandless’s mind, at least into the mind of someone who had similar passions, demons, and ambitions. Krakauer’s loneliness in his time on Devils Thumb seems significant, as McCandless chose to go into the Alaskan wilderness alone, and while he generally seemed to bask in his independence and solitude, Krakauer’s admission that as much as he thought he could do without people, he was really lonely, makes it seem likely that McCandless probably had moments of deep loneliness as well. Krakauer does eventually give up on his first ascent plan, going up an easier way instead, and this amounts to a discovery that is difficult for both he and McCandless to accept—there are some things that, no matter your will or determination, are impossible. The same is not true of McCandless’s adventure—he did survive for many, many weeks with minimal supplies in dangerous conditions, and he very conceivably could have made it out alive. But his way of thinking, that he can do anything as long as he truly has the determination to do it, and is willing to suffer while doing it, is not, in the end, correct.