Rhetoric in "Into the Wild"

1748 Words Sep 27th, 2012 7 Pages
Zero Hour AP English
Rhetoric in Into the Wild
Appeals to Logos
*Strategy 1: describing McCandless’s intelligence.
Ex. 1: In the third chapter of the novel, where Krakauer describes McCandless’s relationship with Wayne Westerberg, he discusses Chris McCandless’s family and education in brief. Specifically, Krakauer mentions, “In May 1990, Chris graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, … and had distinguished himself as a history and anthropology major with a 3.72 grade-point average” (Krakauer 20). This presents a side of Chris that appeals to people’s logos and makes them think. The main question that pops into mind is, “how could such a smart kid make such a dumb mistake?” This intrigue keeps the reader immersed in the book,
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Ex. 2: In the fourth chapter of the novel, “Detrital Wash,” Krakauer describes Chris on his two month journey in the Western part of the great United States. He also mentions how McCandless’s parents, worried sick, hired a private detective. The investigator began an extensive search, and finally found information in December, “when he learned from an inspection of tax records that Chris had given away his college fund to OXFAM” (Krakauer 31). The fact that Chris donated his college fund to charity also casts him in a good, moral light. However, the ironic thing is that OXFAM is an organization dedicated to feeding starving people, and that Chris McCandless died of starvation. Either way, this appeal to ethos also makes people view Chris in a better light, perhaps to make them feel like he was a great person.

*Strategy 2: Describing the moral flaws of Chris McCandless Ex. 1: Krakauer says in the author’s note at the beginning of the novel that he will leave it to the readers to form their own opinions about McCandless, so it only seems natural that he would include negative points about the boy’s morals as well. Although he had a rigorous moral code, he made the strangest exceptions. Krakauer says, “he was also able to forgive, or overlook, the shortcomings of his literary heroes: Jack London was a notorious drunk; Tolstoy… went on to father at least thirteen children, some of

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