Into the Wild

chapter 7 questions

Chapter 7

1. Who is Wayne Westerberg? Where does he live? How does he know Alex?

2. Did the people who met Alex think he had a lot of common sense?

3. What problem did Chris have with his parents?

4. What were his relationships with women like?

5. What, instead, did he yearn for?

6. What does Westerburg offer to for Alex so he can stay and work longer?

7. On his final night in Carthage, what does Alex do that surprises everyone?

8. According to his postcard, where does Alex arrive, via train, on April 18?

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In answer to your first question, Wayne Westerberg is the owner of a grain elevator in Carthage, South Dakota, who meets McCandless when he picks him up hitchhiking in 1990. He gives McCandless jobs multiple times, and becomes close to him.

3) In Chapter Seven, we start to see some of the reasons for McCandless’s estrangement from his family. Although in some ways it seems like his choice to cut himself off from his family is an important part of his plan to have true freedom, it becomes clear in this section that in some ways it is intended specifically to punish them. He tells Carine soon before he disappears that he intends to cut his parents out of his life completely, because he resents their values, and their attempts to impose those values on him.

It is also interesting to see in this section how McCandless’s expectations for his parents are so much higher than for other people in his life. He holds himself to these same standards, always living by the philosophies he espouses, and the standards he holds others to, but he is forgiving of many sins from his friends, including alcoholism and mistreatment of women. Yet even the offer to buy him a car as a graduation gift, coming from his parents, is enough to make him completely disgusted with them, even though, with Carine for example, he does not hold her materialism against her.

2) No, the people he met didn't think he had a lot of common sense. They wanted him to get his life together.

4) In general, Chris' relationships with women are great...... if you don't include his mother. Chris never understood how his mother could allow his father to treat her badly, something that strained their relationship. He and his sister had an open relationship, as she was the only family member he kept in contact with after leaving. Chris also develops good relationships with Gail (Westerberg's girlfriend) and Mary )Westerberg's mother.

5) Chris yearns for a place that is free of modern society.

7) Before leaving, McCandless has dinner with Westerberg’s mother, Mary, with whom he really hits it off, and goes out one last time with Westerberg’s crew. He then heads off to Alaska.



April 27th, 1992

Greetings from Fairbanks! This is the last you shall hear from me, Wayne. Arrived here 2 days ago. It was very difficult to catch rides in the Yukon Territory. But I finally got here.

Please return all mail I receive to the sender. It might be a very long time before I return South. If this adventure proves fatal and you don't ever hear from me again I want you to know you're a great man. I now walk into the wild. — Alex.