ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Into the Wild: Quotes, Page Numbers, and Analysis

Updated on August 22, 2014

Into the Wild Paperback

This is an essay I wrote on the novel Into the Wild. If you haven't read the book you should as it is very interesting and even philosophical. For entertainment or for help on a paper of your own I hope you enjoy my take on the book, enjoy!


We little know until tried how much of the uncontrollable there is in us, urging us across glaciers and torrents, and up dangerous heights, let the judgment forbid as it may (145).

In all of us there is an animal force, pushing us away from modern life, and into the wild. As we mature some of us discover that this force is so powerful in us that we must act, pursuing something greater than ourselves, an escape. This urge is uncontrollable, and has the power to motivate individuals to do great things, alone. This alternative existence is sought by few, and lived by fewer. The possibility of death does not sway these risk takers because it would be better to die than to live a life unsatisfied.

A man who has given away a small fortune, forsaken a loving family, abandoned his car, watch, and map, and burned the last of his money before traipsing off into the wilderness (71).

They seek solitude, a chance to look within. They have rejected life and its rules, instead they seek to find rules instead of make them up, learn instead of teach. From outside these actions are confusing, pointless. You cannot redefine yourself if you are hampered by the things that define you. You have to spend time thinking about, questioning, and defining your own existence.

But there was a side to him that was a little bit dreamy, a little bit out of touch with reality (81).

This ideological pursuit, to find a controlled environment where the only variable is oneself, was absurd. The thoughts and pursuits of modern man are impossible to shake completely. It is impossible to completely change ourselves; we will always have the memories, behaviors, and bodies from our previous form. We are either satisfied with what we can change, or in a constant state of motion, trying to solve a problem that has no solution. In these situations the only fulfillment is death, the only time when the old self is completely gone.

He demanded much of himself-more, in the end, than he could deliver (184).

There is a separation of mind and body, the physical world of the wilderness and the human philosophical domain. When people try to live out their moral pursuits, they are demanding a lot out of themselves to make such a momentous change. The more someone is trying to change themselves, the more demanding their goal is. If someone’s goal is out of touch with reality, they set themselves up in a position where the chance of success is minute, and the chance of failure is a strong possibility. These ill-fated attempts to apply morals and philosophies to the physical world prove the hopelessness and ultimate impossibility to combine the mental world of modern man to the chaos and peril of the natural world.

I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax (87).

There is a point where someone has discovered so much hope and possibility that not experiencing the final thrill, the one moment in their life that they have been building up to their entire life, that death would be preferable. To have the knowledge that you missed your moment that something that you once cultivated is forever lost could easily motivate someone to accept death. If someone lives a calm course of existence they will never experience this extreme moment of ultimate satisfaction or defeat. By pursuing this moment, you are sacrificing any hope of normality, for you will either die broken, or live victorious. Instead of living in boredom, you are gambling your entire life, you are rolling the dice, and you are accepting the outcome as absolute.

I am all alone, this is no joke. In the name of God, please remain to save me (12).

The moment where defeat is accepted is always difficult, but if defeat means death the pain is unimaginable. The mentality of your new life slowly unravels into a mass of hypocrisy and pointlessness. You have gambled your life and lost, the loneliness you experience is comical, you have ignored human history and tried to embrace the very danger and chaos that modern man sought to escape. You thought you had discovered something new, something that would allow you to experience the ultimate emotions a human body can produce. You were right; you experienced emotional stratification, the ultimate extremes. However, you would be joking if you did not think there was a price to pay for the ultimate. The same isolation that you longed for, that brought you happiness and fragility as well as sadness and danger, is a duality. You will now experience death, the final emotional and physical climax. At first you are consumed with fear, then acceptance. You preferred anything to an anticlimax and you got what you wanted. This is no joke, and you do not need to be saved.

No longer would he answer to Chris McCandless; he was now Alexander Super-tramp, master of his own destiny (23).


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Moral Man 

      4 years ago

      Chris Mccandless and the book and movie Into the Wild is more depressing than I thought. Since the book and movie came out, Carine Mccandless, his sister, is claiming that a major reason Chris went into the wild was to get away from his abusive father. It turns out that this was an unhappy, dysfunctional family.

      If Chris wanted to live off the land, why did he pick such a cold bleak place like Alaska to do it? There are better places to live off the land than Alaska. He could have gone to a tropical island like Tahiti or he could have gone to Kauai's Napali coast where a resident population lives on wild fruits, fish, and prawns. I personally loathe the idea of killing animals or hunting.

      Secondly, even living in a tropical location is not really feasible for a person who is used to living in civilization. There is the perennial problem of getting food and clean water, theres snakes, spiders, ticks, mosquitoes, scorpions, centipedes, hurricanes. A person would need a lifetime supply of soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, toilet paper, clean underwear, clean clothes, and medicine. Sooner or later a dentist and doctor is going to be needed. The human body and brain is going to age and fall apart no matter where we live. The heart, the blood vessels, the eyes, the teeth, the brain, the kidney, and liver are the most decective, troublesome parts of the body. The real world is no Garden of Eden. There is no paradise anywhere. There never was.

      Chris met Ronald Franz and became best friends. Franz was a devout Christian until learning that Chris had died. Franz renounced his Christian faith. He became angry at God for allowing Chris to die. Ronald Franz loved Chris, and the death of his friend was painful.

      This story is very painful, made all the more painful after I discovered that Chris had an abusive father who he wanted to get away from. Families should love and stick together. This is a sad, sad story.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)