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The Use Of Anecdotes In The Novel Into The Wild

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The novel Into The Wild is based on a true story of a young man named Chris McCandless, who later takes on the name of Alex and adventures alone up to his death to the Alaskan Wilderness at only the age of 24. His main drive for this unplanned trip was because he felt as if his life was becoming a schedule every day with the same repetitive actions occurring daily instead of living in the unknown. With so much chaos occurring in his life he makes the decision to get away from his monotonous life to live an unpredictable one. The author of a novel has always played a vital role in depicting the purpose to the audience and which Jon Krakauer surely does this with the use of many rhetorical devices, especially through the use of anecdotes. In the book Into the Wild, the author Jon Krakauer uses descriptive anecdotes to show the audience that Chris McCandless wanting to live off the grid was not unreasonable.

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To start Krakauer utilizes anecdotes to describe Chris as a person and his experiences on his journey but most importantly he uses anecdotes to humanize Chris for many readers perceive him to be crazy for his radical life choices. Jon Krakauer does so by asserting “god how the trail lures me…. You cannot comprehend its resistless fascination for me”(Krakauer 91). The purpose of this anecdote is to emphasize that Chris is not crazy for his actions because if he can find happiness in the earth itself then why can't he be normal. The author chooses to include anecdotes of Chris’s experiences of joy on his adventure living alone with nothing handed to him to show how truly happy he is with solely the simplicity of nature. Furthermore, he adds “Climbing mattered……..The world was made real”(134). He includes these stories of Chris to give insight into what he experienced on his trip and the emotions that he had at the times that he writes. When he climbs, nothing else matters and the author chooses to fully emphasize this to show that Chris does not need anything but the bare earth to be happy and have joy. Krakauer effectively retells significant events in Chris’s journey that lead to his death in order to convince the reader that Chris was not merely crazy just as some people perceived him to be. Mccandeles is criticized by many and is viewed as radical however Krakauer utilizes these anecdotes to humanize his story to help the readers understand his logic for his trip and to realize that Chris McCandless is not radical.

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The Use Of Anecdotes In The Novel Into The Wild. (2022, March 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2023, from
“The Use Of Anecdotes In The Novel Into The Wild.” Edubirdie, 18 Mar. 2022,
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