75 pages 2 hours read

Jon Krakauer

Into The Wild

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 1996

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Chapters 7-9Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 7 Summary: “Carthage”

McCandless arrives at Wayne Westerberg’s grain elevator in Carthage and tells him that he’s ready to work. He stays for four weeks, long enough to make some money to buy new gear. He does difficult, dirty jobs and grows close to Westerberg’s on-again, off-again girlfriend Gail Borah. People in Carthage appreciate his company, and he receives mail from others he’s met during his travels. He tells Westerberg and Borah that he plans on returning to South Dakota in the fall after his trip to Alaska.

Two nights before leaving for Alaska, McCandless is invited to Westerberg’s mother’s house for dinner. Although Westerberg’s mother hadn’t expected to get along with her son’s hired help, she and McCandless get along well, and they spend the night talking to one another. On his final night in Carthage, he goes out drinking and partying with Westerberg’s work crew at a local bar.

On April 15 McCandless says goodbye to his coworkers at the grain elevator. Borah notes that he is crying. He writes Westerberg two postcards in the weeks that follow, indicating that he made it to Alaska and is beginning his journey “into the wild” (69).