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Into the Wild – Compare & Contrast

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    In the book Into the Wild, characters Chris McCandless, Gene Rosellini and Everett Ruess are all characters with similarities and differences. Each character has a different family background and personality. Every character also had a different experience in the wilderness and way they documented it. Lastly, McCandless, Rosellini, and Ruess all had different ways they died. No individual had the same family background and early experiences in their lives. Each individual also had their own personalities.

    Chris McCandless was a young and successful college graduate with a job and had money. Oddly, he decided to disappear in response to his father’s misjudgment, giving away his money and overall, became homeless. McCandless could no longer deal with life and left his old life. He ended up in the wilderness of Alaska, living in a trailer. Chris was an intelligent, intense young man with a stubborn mindset. He grew up in a wealthy suburb of Washington, D. C. , where he succeeded both academically and athletically.

    In 1990 he graduated from Emory University with honors, and soon afterwards gave all of his savings to charity, and started going by “Alex,” abandoning almost all of his possessions, and spent two years hitchhiking and traveling around the west. He went to Alaska, where he journied alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley in April 1992. Gene Rosellini (also known as Mayor of Hippie Cove) was a brilliant man from a wealthy family who decided to see if he could live his life “independent of modern technology. He succeeded for over a decade before deciding his experiment failed. Rosellini was the eldest stepson of a wealthy Seattle restaurateur, cousin of Washington governor, excellent athlete and brilliant student. He maintained a 4. 0 GPA through high school and college. He took anthropology, history, philosophy, and linguistics and decided to devote his life to anthropology. Everett Ruess’s was considered more understandable by the author. Ruess was bored by modern civilization like McCandless, and wanted to pit himself against nature.

    As a child, his life was filled with trauma, constantly moving, never feeling like he had a place in society. He continued to reject society as an adult and became an outdoorsman and lover of nature. Like McCandless, Ruess also disliked his parents and was close to his siblings (similar to McCandless). Ruess was a poet and when he graduated high school in Hollywood. He quickly disliked the city, and found life in the wilderness. Each individual had unique experiences in the wild, and documented them differently. Chris McCandless lived with very little in the wilderness.

    He was unprepared. Krakauer used frequent excerpts from Chris’s personal journals. Only Chris’s final journal entries were written in the first person and were signed with his real name. His final words had a frightening tone. Gene Rosellini also lived with very little. He wished to return to his “natural state. ” Rosellini ate berries, roots, and seaweed. He hunted with spears and snares and dressed in rags. Ruess crossed the wilderness of the Southwest on foot, sending letters home to his family in Los Angeles that were filled with wisdom.

    He experienced lots of physical discomfort during his time outdoors. Each character also had different ways they died. Chris McCandless passed away before he had a chance to return to civilization. Chris died of starvation in the Alaskan wilderness. Gene Rosellini concluded that his attempt to live off the land was a failure after thirty years and then committed suicide by knife. Rosellini’s goal was to see “if it was possible to be independent of modern technology. ” Everett Ruess ultimately died at age 21. Although it is unknown how Ruess ultimately died.

    It was believed that Ruess fell to his death at Davis Gulch; however, Krakauer explores alternative theories of his death. Everett’s brother believes he was murdered; Everett’s biographer believed he drowned. In conclusion, each individual had different ways of life, yet they showed similarities. Each individual had a different family background and personality. They had a different experience in the wilderness and way they documented it. Lastly, McCandless, Rosellini, and Ruess all had different reasons for their death.

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