75 pages 2 hours read

Jon Krakauer

Into The Wild

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 1996

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Author’s Note-Chapter 3Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Author’s Note Summary

In 1992 a young man named Christopher Johnson McCandless journeyed into the Alaskan wilderness and was found dead four months later. Jon Krakauer wrote an article for Outside magazine about the incident in 1993 but remained interested in the story long after it was published. After spending a year retracing McCandless’s journey, Krakauer wrote Into the Wild.

Krakauer warns the reader that he is not an “impartial biographer” (ii). McCandless’s story is personal for him. Though many people wrote mail to Outside magazine calling McCandless reckless and naive, Krakauer makes it clear that he does not think McCandless was as foolish as many people believe.

Chapter 1 Summary: “The Alaska Interior”

Jim Gallien spots a hitchhiker shortly after leaving Fairbanks and picks him up. The young man says his name is Alex. He’d like a ride to the border of Denali National Park, where he plans on walking into the woods to live alone for a period. After talking for some time, Jim Gallien finds Alex to be friendly but also thinks he is unprepared to live in the wild. He does not seem to have the gear necessary for long-term survival in the harsh terrain.

Alex points on a map to a route outside the coal-mining town of Healy that he intends to hike.