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Into the Wild (Ch. 8-Epilogue)
Analyzing Stylistic Choices

Analyzing Stylistic Choices helps you see the linguistic and rhetorical choices writers make to inform or convince readers.

Precise writers make linguistic choices to create certain effects. They want to have their readers react in a certain way. Go back through the text and analyze Krakauer’s use of words, sentences, and paragraphs, and take note as to how effective a writer he is.

Analyzing Chapters 8–10

Paragraphs

In the first part of Chapter 8, Krakauer quotes Alaskans who had opinions about McCandless and his death.

1. Why does Krakauer cite these letters? How does citing them add to or detract from the text?

2. Choose one of these letters, and respond
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2. At the end of Chapter 9, Krakauer describes Irish monks known as the papar who sought out lonely places so much that they left Iceland for Greenland when some Norwegians showed up because they thought that it had become too crowded, even though the land was nearly uninhabited. Krakauer writes, “Reading of these monks, one cannot help thinking of Everett Reuss and Chris McCandless” (97). Krakauer implies that there is some kind of similarity between Reuss, McCandless, and the papar, but instead of making a specific connection, he just says “one cannot help thinking of.” Is this a good argument? Why or why not?

3. Krakauer argues in Chapter 14 that McCandless’s death was unplanned and was a terrible accident (134). Does the book so far support that position? Do you agree with Krakauer? Why or why not?

4. Look for other claims that Krakauer makes that might be weak or unsupported. What are they?

Questions about the Writer (Ethos)

5. Chapters 14 and 15 describe Krakauer’s successful attempt when he was 23 years old to climb the “Devil’s Thumb,” a mountain in Alaska. He also describes what he thinks are parallels between McCandless and himself. Do these chapters increase his credibility for writing this book, or do they undermine his credibility by making it seem like he has his own agenda and is not objective?

Questions about Emotions (Pathos)

6. Chapters 11-13 are about McCandless’s relationships with his family. Do any of these

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