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How Fitzgerald And Jon Krakauer Expressed The American Dream In Connection With Chris Mccandless

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    Introduced by James Truslow Adams in his 1931 book epic of America, the American Dream is the goal to achieve your best life through hard work and perseverance. Many books have taken this phrase and formed a theme; The Great Gatsby and Into the Wild are two books who express this theme. The American Dream, by exact definition, is the idea that every US citizen should have equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. Characterization, motif, symbolism, and irony are all literary devices used by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jon Krakauer to express the American dream throughout their books.

    Characterization is a description of the distinctive nature or features of someone or something. Jon Krakauer used this to make a connection between himself and Chris McCandless as said in the book, “As a youth, I am told, I was willful, self-absorbed, intermittently reckless, and moody. I disappoint my father in the usual ways. Like McCandless, figures of male authority aroused me in a confusing medley of corked fury and hunger to please.” This shows how similar the father-son relationship is between the author and the main character. Another connection is a about a main setting for the story. Chris spends most of his life after high school/college in nature, the Alaskan bush journey was another connection Krakauer had with him. On page one-thirty-five, Krakauer writes he was twenty-three, a year younger than Chris when he made his trip to the Alaskan Bush.

    Motif can be anything such as an idea, object, concept, character archetypes, or even a statement. These are used to explain a theme or tone symbolically in literature. F. Scott Fitzgerald used judgment a heavy motif. Early on the reader learns about judgment and how it plays throughout the story. On page one he says his father told him “Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in the world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had”. Carraway uses this to judge other character morales such as Gatsby when he has an affair with Daisy. At the age of eighteen, Daisy had a relationship with James Gatz (name was later changed to Gatsby). It did not last long for he left to fight in the war, the lost contact for quite some time. In that space, Daisy was engaged and became married to Tom Buchanan.

    Now back to the present, both Daisy and her husband are having affairs, but it still does not feel right to Carraway. Symbolism is the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. In Into the Wild, Krakauer uses many symbols such as mountains and wealth as ways to express Chris’s life. First off, the Mountains represent getting over the obstacles that come across your path. Chris McCandless faced many obstacles, one being mistakenly entering Mexico while canoeing. On page 134, Krakauer writes “His entry into Mexico is either unnoticed or ignored…Hiss jubilience however, was short lived.

    Below the Morelos Dam the river turns into a maze of irrigation canals, marshlands, and dead-end channels, among which McCandless repeatedly got lost.” Wealth was never something Chris wanted. On page 115, he says “Her son, the teenager Tolstoyan, believed that wealth was shameful, corrupting, and inherently evil.” After graduating high school, Chris gave all of his college fund to OXFAM, a charity who fights to end world hunger. Later in the story when he abandons his yellow datsun car off the trail, he burns the remaining money before he sets off again. Wealth could be a main contributor to McCandless’s lonely trip off into the wilderness.

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