Wild Literary Elements

Wild Literary Elements


A memoir novel



Setting and Context

The action takes place in the Pacific Crest Trail, where Cheryl’s hike happens, beginning in the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to the Bridge of the Gods into Washington.

Narrator and Point of View

The narrator of this memoir is a first-person, who tells about the uneasy life, troubles, and problems, which make Cheryl begin her trip.

Tone and Mood

The mood is psychological due to Cheryl’s problems and difficulties. This narrative also has a philosophical mood, because readers can notice that the author has an unusual attitude to life and its sense.

Protagonist and Antagonist

Cheryl Strayed is a main protagonist and at the same time she is an antagonist. Cheryl tries to improve her life, but she realizes that Cheryl completely destroyed it herself.

Major Conflict

The major conflict happens between Cheryl Strayed and her inner world. She desperately tries to struggle with her inner word, because she wants to understand herself and save her life.


The climax happens when Cheryl reached the Bridge of Gods and realized that life is the best gift from God.


The reader notices that the main character becomes ever stronger and stronger with each passed mile. Cheryl’s formation of a strong personality predicts that at the end of her hike she will become independent and more caring woman. As we can see, these unbelievable changes happen.




This book alludes to the popular writers and their books, which Cheryl’s mother reads before her death. There are Paula Gunn Allen’s “The Sacred Hoop” and Maxine Hong Kingston’s “The Woman Warrior” and “Cherríe Moraga” and Gloria Anzaldúa’s “This Bridge Called My Back”, Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick” and Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn” and Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”.


Imagery is used in descriptions of nature during Cheryl’s trip




There is the most important parallelism of victory and defeat. The main character Cheryl desires to find her place in this world. And when she starts her long journey, some difficulties and obstacles interrupt her wish and Cheryl is ready to give up. Nevertheless, she refuses defeat and continues to struggle.


Drugs, which Cheryl takes before her hike, personify dependence and death.
Water, which Cheryl drinks during her trip, personifies salvation and life.

Use of Dramatic Devices

“Blood is thicker than water”, says Cheryl’s mother about friends, when they stop being friends with Cheryl. It means that children and family are more important than friends and strangers. So, do not suffer, when your friends betray you.

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