Into the Wild

Why do you think Krakauer includes the letters from Alaskans about his article along with stories of Carl MCunn, Rosellini, and Waterman?

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I think the letters from Alaskans represent Chris as a very naive adventurer who had no business living in the Alaskan wild. To them Chris was a dreamer idealist but did not respect the natural world. This section is also the first time Krakauer describes the other famous and infamous characters to whom McCandless is now often compared. Krakauer makes his own beliefs clear—that though McCandless shares some characteristics and behaviors with these men, the only one who is truly like him is Everett Ruess. Carl McCunn was more naïve, John Waterman was actually mentally insane, but Everett Ruess was, like McCandless, simply deeply in love with the land, very romantic, and passionate about living by his principles. These comparisons show that removing oneself from society and living riskily can be a symptom of insanity or stupidity, but it is not inherently so.