Jon Krause Into the Wild illustrates Chris Mishandles’ journey with enthusiasm and force and persuades the reader to question why throughout the story through powerful diction and anecdotes told by others about Chris’ past. Krause interviews many people that impacted Chris at Some point in his life; whether that be by talking in-depth with his family, whom he had a troubled and profound relationship with, or with those that he met and formed strong connections with while on his way to Alaska, like Wayne Westerners and Ron Franz.
Krause talks to nearly everyone that Chris ever had a relationship with to IEEE their outlook and thoughts on why Chris may have left and to develop Chris’ character. This allows the reader to form their own opinion of Chris and his adventure, based on how Krause portrays this information and his own pollen. Krause presents the flawed relationship that Chris had his parents to allow the reader to question why Chris would leave and cut off all ties with them.
Chris is from a “comfortable, upper-middle class environs of Manhandle, Virginia” (1 9), his life looked perfect to any outsider, a track star and an involved student at school, but really Chris had a lot of resent toward is parents, especially his father. Krause presents Chris as a teenager that just had some anger towards his parents by using phrases such as “like many people” (122) when describing his actions to depict a relatable teenage boy and in-a-way critique Chris for leaving his entire family behind, even his sister Caring, whom Chris had a very close relationship with.
But this portal of Chris as a cookie-cutter, irritable teenager is very misguiding; when Chris’ father, Walt Mishandles, lived with Chris and his sister and mom, he continued to have a relationship with his ex-wife and children at the same time. This information about his father that Chris discovered impacted his life very much; he was unable to forgive his father for this. Chris never discloses to his parents that he knew this information, but rather keeps it inside of him.
One of Squeaker’s biggest flaws in this story is not developing this hardship in Chris’ life. Krause almost dismisses this detail and calls him out on not forgiving his father, describing Chris as having a “self-righteous indignation” and ‘temperamentally incapable Of extending such lenient to his father” (122). By painting Chris as an ungrateful teenager, Krause loses some credibility cause one can argue that Chris understandably was not able to forgive his father, especially after recent revelations of Walt being abusive towards his family (20/20 Interview).
But Krause refutes these harsh and unforgiving qualities that Chris had towards his family when Krause develops the relations that Chris formed with others while on the way to Alaska. Ron Franz, who was greatly shaped after meeting Chris, described Chris as “polite, friendly, well-groomed”, and “extremely intelligent?” (50-51 ) and Wayne Westerners, someone whom Chris developed a father-like bond with n his expedition, describes Chris as “outgoing and extremely personable” (65). Squeaker’s diction offers a different look at Chris and his personality.
Krause provides these descriptions so that the reader does not only see Chris as unprepared and unappreciative but also as compassionate and loving. By having opposite descriptions of Chris, Krause creates a likeable and personable character. Krause does a marvelous job throughout the story to produce a constant thought in the back of the readers mind about whether or not Chris was an ignorant, unprepared fool or a caring, dedicated error who ventures into the unknown. Krause has been criticized “for glorifying… A foolish, pointless death” (71) and turning a small news article in a magazine into a best-selling book.
Krause presents that he wrote this novel because felt he had a personal connection with Chris’ story, having come from a pretty stable family and traveling to Alaska to climb mountains. But as a reader, cannot help but question the motives for this “compelling and tragic” story (San Francisco Chronicle). After he received many responses praising and criticizing Chris’ story, Krause decided to investigate Chris’ life ore. Krause was presented with heaps of third-party stories and evidence about Chris’ life and death, which prompted him to craft a 203-page novel about Chris’ adventure into the wild.
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Overall, Krause writes a chillingly relatable and heart-breaking story about a young mans life that was cut to short through a foolishly, heroic venture into the unknown Alaskan land. Krause depicts Chris not as a clueless adventurer but as a young man that simply was looking for adventure in his life. Krause