Into the Wild

An Unconventional Genre: Evaluating John Krakauer as a Biographer 11th Grade

Within the contents of a variety of different biographies, there are multiple similarities between the conventions that are typically used. However, there are also multiple differences between them in their features that set these works apart from one another as well. The author’s effectiveness while using these conventions correlate with the reader’s enjoyment of the book in this challengingly interesting genre too, all of which is handled exceedingly well in the biography Into the Wild, written by Jon Krakauer. While told through a somewhat disjointed yet captivating timeline, Krakauer recounts the life of Chris McCandless during his liberating journey throughout North America, spanning from Chris’ childhood to the day he is found dead in the Alaskan wilderness. Throughout the pages of his book, Krakauer conforms to typical conventions of a biography by using original sources and deviates from these conventions by including a unique structure in his chapters as well as an explanation of his own life experiences to further enhance the reader’s own experience of reading Chris’ story.

First and foremost, the book conforms to typical biographical conventions by retracing Chris’ steps with original sources. For example, after...

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