Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Into the Wild Summary

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is a non-fiction book about Christopher McCandlees. The book begins with the discovery of McCandless's body inside an abandoned bus in Alaska and retraces his travels during the two years he was missing. McCandless changed his real name early in his journey, calling himself "Alexander". He spent time in South Dakota with Wayne Westerberg. He explores the similarities between other young men who vanished into the wilderness, such as Everett Ruess, an artist and wanderer who went missing in the Utah desert during 1934 at age 20. In addition, he describes at some length the grief of McCandless's family and friends.

McCandless survived for approximately 112 days in the Alaskan wilderness, foraging for edible roots and berries, shooting an assortment of game and keeping a journal. The exact cause of the young man's death remains open to question. McCandless may simply have starved to death, which makes sense since he weighed 67 pounds when he was found.

By Bryan F.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jon Krakauer's Autobiography

Jon Krakauer was born April 12, 1954 in Brookline, Massachusetts but grew up in Corvallis, Oregon. He was taught mountaineering by his father at an early age, and continued his love of the outdoors by obtaining a degree in Environmental Science from Hampshire College in 1976. He spent three weeks in the Stikine Icecap region of Alaska after graduation,and worked as a commercial salmon fisherman and carpenter until he quit to write full time. He is known for his articles about the outdoors and mountain climbing, and is the editor-at-large for Outside magazine. He also wrote the bestsellers Into the Wild, Into Thin Air and Under the Banner of Heaven. Jon Krakauer currently lives in Seattle with his wife.

"Krakauer, Jon (1954-)." Student Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Student Resource Center - Gold. Gale. John Carrol School. 19 Jan. 2010

Bryan F.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Cedar Point

For the past few years I have wanted to visit Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio. It has 17 roller coasters, a water park, miniature golf, parasailing, and a simulated flight ride. I have been to many amusement parks in my life, but this one is the ultimate in the United States for thrill seekers. Cedar Point has three of the top 10 steel coasters in the world, and I love roller coasters. I would want to go for a week to experience everything there. Since the park is in the northern United States, it is only open May through October, and if you want to visit the water park, summer months would be best. I would want to fly to Ohio, because it would take approximately seven and a half hours to get there by car. Also, if you fly there the closest airport is in Cleveland, Ohio and there is a great zoo there called the Cleveland Metropark Zoo that I would want to visit as part of my adventure. I wouldn’t need to take anything special for my trip just some shorts, tennis shoes and a bathing suit. Sandusky is a port city on the Great Lakes, so it would be fun to stay in a cabin by the water instead of a hotel. I think this would be a great summer vacation.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Chris McCandless - Direct and Indirect Characterization


Direct characterization is when the author reveals character traits through narration.

Indirect characterization is when an author tells what a character does, says, or looks like and how other characters react to him or her


18 or 19

Carrying rifle

5’7 or 5’8

Wiry build

Well educated

Afraid of water

Hasn’t talked to family


Didn’t weigh much

Wrote journal and took pictures

No internal injuries or broken bones

Starved to death

No id

Drank white Russians



Dark eyes

Wore glasses

Good looking

Quickly changed expressions




Read a lot

Lied about his real name – Alex Supertramp instead of Chris McCandless

Graduated from Emory University in May 1990

Writer and editor of school paper

History and anthropology major with 3.72 GPA

Donated college fund to charity


Appeared friendly

Ill prepared

“His gear seemed exceedingly minimal for the harsh conditions of the interior” (5).



“But he wouldn’t give an inch. He had an answer for everything I threw at him” (6).

Anti establishment



“I don’t want to know what day it is or where I am none of that matters” (7).

Ethical, hardworking

“He never quit in the middle of something” (18).

Good storyteller

“He used to sit right there at the end of the bar and tell these amazing stories” (16)


“Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often” (18)

Considered Westerberg to be family

“had all his mail forwarded to Westerberg’s address and told almost everyone he met thereafter that South Dakota was his home” (19)

Did not want material things

“announced on principle, he would no longer give or accept gifts” (21)

“lived off campus in a monkish room furnished with little more than a thin mattress on the floor (22)

Rarely communicated with parents, did not like or respect them, finally abandoned them

Chris McCandless looked like a normal college student and was raised in a upper middle class family that provided for him. However, he was very different than most young men his age. He did not care for material possessions and was determined to abandon his family and way of life to have an adventure.

My Life Journey

I would design a soccer ball as the background object to represent my life journey. Sports have been a very big part of my life thus far, and will be into the future, so the soccer ball is an appropriate choice. I would place the symbols on the white panels on the ball. Two of the characters would have to be me playing soccer and running track, as those are the sports in which I am the most competitive. Another symbol would be a music note, as I really enjoy listening to music. I would paint a picture of a pet on the ball, as I have two cats and did volunteer work taking care of animals for community service throughout middle school. I would paint a representation of the Harford Day School logo on my soccer ball, because I was a student there for nine years and it was a great experience. A beach scene is another painting that I would include on my ball since my family visits the beach at Ocean City, Maryland every summer, and we have vacationed at many tropical beaches in the Caribbean as well. I would place a picture of a roller coaster on my ball. I love riding roller coasters, and have traveled to many amusement parks on the East coast over the past ten years to ride them. Finally, I would also include the letters JC to represent John Carroll School, as I will spend the next three years of my life there and am looking forward to the experience.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Chris McCandless's Adventure on Google Earth

The Google Earth trip that shows Chris McCandless’ journey makes it evident how many miles Chris covered as he traveled for two years across the United States. By viewing his journey on Google Earth, you can see pictures of some of the places Chris explored, and it makes the stops more real. The scenery is really beautiful, and you can see why Chris enjoyed being a nomad and traveling to these places across the country. I have never been to any of these areas in the United States, but after looking at the photos I especially would like to see Grand Junction, Colorado. Chris McCandless calls it “one of the greatest sights on earth”, and pictures of the Grand Canyon make me believe seeing the scenery in person would be a spectacular experience. Be forewarned that the Google Earth trip also reveals the details of Chris’s death, so don’t view the journey located at if you haven’t completed the book.