Into the Wild

Questions about the Writer (Ethos)

5. Chapters 14 and 15 describe Krakauer’s successful attempt when he was 23 years old to climb the “Devil’s Thumb,” a mountain in Alaska. He also describes what he thinks are parallels between McCandless and himself. Do these chapters increase his credibility for writing this book, or do they undermine his credibility by making it seem like he has his own agenda and is not objective?

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Although this book is very much and exploration into Chris McCandless, we can see the story was deeply personal to Krakauer. There is nothing wrong with an author identifying with his subject. Krakauer never professed his book was an objective research piece about Chris McCandless. Krakauer's personality and voice is evident throughout the narrative. I think this really adds to our view into Chris. Krakauer acts as a guide for people first experiencing personalities like Chris's. In the end Krakauer paints a picture of a very idealistic counter-culture adventurer with profound flaws.