Into the Wild/McCandless Journals

Critical Issues in Literature                             Name
Into the Wild writing prompts                         due date:
#1 Chapters 1-3; pages 3-23 
After reading the selection, please respond fully to the following prompts. These will be kept in the third section of your notebook. Be sure that your responses are dated, labeled (Into the Wild with chapter numbers), and have your name on them. Your responses are expected to be in written paragraph form and will be collected and graded daily (out of 20 points).
Each day we will review homework responses during discussion of the novel. Participation in class discussion is expected and it will graded each week  At the end of each discussion, you should note at the top of your homework how many times you participated and indicate the type of participation, such as: asked a question, commented on the character, answered a homework question, or challenged another student’s comment.  Your participation grade will be 10 classwork points each week.
1. After reading chapter 1, use two adjectives to describe your impressions of Chris McCandless (Alex).  Explain and support each adjective with a specific quote from the chapter.
2.     After graduating college, McCandless begins, “an epic journey that would change everything” (22).  He saw his time in college as “an absurd and onerous duty” (22).  In heading west he felt freed “from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and material excess” (22).  Using examples from the reading explain what he meant by this.  Do you agree with his motivation for leaving?
 Additional Discussion Topic: McCandless’ family relationships and upbringing
Vocabulary
congenial (5) –                           escarpments (10) –
antimony (10) –           anomaly (11) –                visage (16) – face
amiable (16) –                     convivial (18) –
plebeian (18) –               mien (18) –
onerous (22) –
Into the Wild writing prompts                                     due date:
#2 Chapters 4 and 5; pages 25-46 
After reading the selection, please respond fully to the following prompts. These will be kept in the third section of your notebook. Be sure that your responses are dated, labeled (Into the Wild with chapter numbers), and have your name on them. Your responses are expected to be in written paragraph form and will be collected and graded daily (out of 20 points).
Each day we will review homework responses during discussion of the novel. Participation in class discussion is expected and it will graded each week  At the end of each discussion, you should note at the top of your homework how many times you participated and indicate the type of participation, such as: asked a question, commented on the character, answered a homework question, or challenged another student’s comment.  Your participation grade will be 10 classwork points each week.
1. Chapter 4 ends with the following quote from McCandless’ journal: “It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found” (37). Identify an experience from this chapter and explain what “meaning” you think Alex has found. Use a quote to support your explanation.
2. What does “Plastic People” in chapter five mean?  What are two things McCandless considered plastic? Do you agree with his assessment? Support your answer with a quote.
Additional Discussion Topic: McCandless’ definition of living life to its fullest.
Vocabulary 
egress (28) –                        indolently (32) –
saline (32) –                         sere (32) –
bourgeois (39) –          lumpen (39) –
itinerant (43) –                 primordial (44) –
fatuous (44) –     sedentary (44) –
Tolstoy (29) –     Thoreau (29) –
Into the Wild writing prompts                                     due date:
#3 Chapters 6 and 7; pages 47-69 
After reading the selection, please respond fully to the following prompts. These will be kept in the third section of your notebook. Be sure that your responses are dated, labeled (Into the Wild with chapter numbers), and have your name on them. Your responses are expected to be in written paragraph form and will be collected and graded daily (out of 20 points).
Each day we will review homework responses during discussion of the novel. Participation in class discussion is expected and it will graded each week  At the end of each discussion, you should note at the top of your homework how many times you participated and indicate the type of participation, such as: asked a question, commented on the character, answered a homework question, or challenged another student’s comment.  Your participation grade will be 10 classwork points each week.
1. Ronald Franz and McCandless establish a father-son type of relationship.  Identify one benefit or drawback (using a quote) that each gets out of the relationship.
2. Before McCandless leaves for Alaska, Wayne Westerberg offers to buy him a plane ticket.  McCandless refuses, however, claiming, “flying would be cheating.  It would wreck the whole trip” (67).  Find and explain two quotes from this chapter that demonstrate whether or not McCandless actually lives by his own words.
Additional Discussion Topic: “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure” (57).

Vocabulary

hegira (48) –                   creosote (48) –
desiccated (49) –        phantasmal (49) –       arroyo (49) –
indigent (50) –               destitute (51) –               serape (51) –
harangues (51) –        fulminate (52) –
endemic (52) –            unalloyed (55) –             unbidden (63) –     
Into the Wild writing prompts                         due date:
#4 Chapters 10 and 11; pages 98-116 
After reading the selection, please respond fully to the following prompts. These will be kept in the third section of your notebook. Be sure that your responses are dated, labeled (Into the Wild with chapter numbers), and have your name on them. Your responses are expected to be in written paragraph form and will be collected and graded daily (out of 20 points).
Each day we will review homework responses during discussion of the novel. Participation in class discussion is expected and it will graded each week  At the end of each discussion, you should note at the top of your homework how many times you participated and indicate the type of participation, such as: asked a question, commented on the character, answered a homework question, or challenged another student’s comment.  Your participation grade will be 10 classwork points each week.
 1.Identify two qualities that Walt McCandless and his son have in common.  Support each quality with a quote from the text.
2. Identify two specific details or examples (using quotes) from Chris McCandless’ childhood/high school years that seem to predict his later behavior.  What is it about these events that help to explain his actions as an adult?
Additional Discussion Topic: “How is it that a kid with so much compassion could cause his parents so much pain?” (104).
Vocabulary
mercurial (105) –          wanderlust (108) –
incorrigible (115) –      
Into the Wild writing prompts                                     due date:
#5 Chapter 12, pages 117-126; Chapter 16, pages 157 – 171 
After reading the selection, please respond fully to the following prompts. These will be kept in the third section of your notebook. Be sure that your responses are dated, labeled (Into the Wild with chapter numbers), and have your name on them. Your responses are expected to be in written paragraph form and will be collected and graded daily (out of 20 points).
Each day we will review homework responses during discussion of the novel. Participation in class discussion is expected and it will graded each week  At the end of each discussion, you should note at the top of your homework how many times you participated and indicate the type of participation, such as: asked a question, commented on the character, answered a homework question, or challenged another student’s comment.  Your participation grade will be 10 classwork points each week.
1. Contrast McCandless’ feelings about his family with his family’s feelings about him.  How does the Thoreau quote that opens the chapter match Chris’ feelings about his family?  Support your points with two quotes from the reading.
2. Read the italicized passage on page 168 that McCandless wrote and the italicized passage he highlighted from Tolstoy on page 169.  Based on these writings and events in this chapter, what convinced McCandless that it was time to return to civilization?  What did he learn from his time “in the wild”? Support your answer with specific details.
 Additional Discussion Topic: What did McCandless expect this “greatest adventure” to accomplish?
Vocabulary
monomania (120) –                           sanctimonious (122) –
choler (122) –                                       sullen (123) –
idiosyncratic (123) –                           castigated (123) –
extemporaneous (124) –                    gloaming (161) –
Rubicon (163) –                                     aesthetic (163) –
perambulation (164) –                        taiga (164) –
reverie (164) –                                       obliquely (123) –
Into the Wild writing prompts                                    due date:
#6 Chapter 17; pages 172 – 186 
After reading the selection, please respond fully to the following prompts. These will be kept in the third section of your notebook. Be sure that your responses are dated, labeled (Into the Wild with chapter numbers), and have your name on them. Your responses are expected to be in written paragraph form and will be collected and graded daily (out of 20 points).
Each day we will review homework responses during discussion of the novel. Participation in class discussion is expected and it will graded each week  At the end of each discussion, you should note at the top of your homework how many times you participated and indicate the type of participation, such as: asked a question, commented on the character, answered a homework question, or challenged another student’s comment.  Your participation grade will be 10 classwork points each week.
 1. Krakauer observes that it is not “unusual for a young man to be drawn to a pursuit considered reckless by his elders.”  Identify two details from this chapter where McCandless exemplifies this observation.  Explain whether or not McCandless would agree with Krakauer.  Finally compare McCandless’ view with that of one of the following men mentioned in this chapter: Andy Horowitz, Gordon Samel, Roman Dial, Sir John Franklin.
 2. Krakauer goes on to claim that McCandless’ “life hummed with meaning and purpose.  But the meaning he wrested from existence lay beyond the comfortable path.” Do you agree with Krakauer?  Support your response with two specific quotes from this chapter.
 Additional Discussion Topic: Adventure and freedom versus safety 
Vocabulary 

ford (174) –                                                        miasma (175) – 

malevolent (176) –                                           massif (176) – 

ungulate (178) –                                               moldering (178) – 

scabbard (178) –                                                          maxillae (179) – 
hauteur (180) –                                                            Metis (180) – 
sobriquet (181) –                                                         ruminations (183) – 
modicum (184) –                                                         feckless (184) – 
posited (184) –                                                             sojourn (179) – 
existential (184) – 
Into the Wild writing prompts                                     due date:
#7 Chapters 18 and Epilogue; pages 185-203
After reading the selection, please respond fully to the following prompts. These will be kept in the third section of your notebook. Be sure that your responses are dated, labeled (Into the Wild with chapter numbers), and have your name on them. Your responses are expected to be in written paragraph form and will be collected and graded daily (out of 20 points).
Each day we will review homework responses during discussion of the novel. Participation in class discussion is expected and it will graded each week  At the end of each discussion, you should note at the top of your homework how many times you participated and indicate the type of participation, such as: asked a question, commented on the character, answered a homework question, or challenged another student’s comment.  Your participation grade will be 10 classwork points each week.
 1. How does the Doctor Zhivago quote that opens the chapter foreshadow McCandless’ actions and writings later in the chapter?  Cite two specific examples using quotations from the text.
2. Do you believe McCandless is to blame for his own death? Explain your answer using two specific details from the chapter.  Use quotations to support your response.
Additional Discussion Topic: The poem “Wise Men in Their Bad Hours” and the Epilogue
Vocabulary
munificence (188) –               eloquence (189) –
precipitous (190) –                  decumbent (192) –
emetic (192) –                           insidiously (194) –
moniker (198) –                       conflagration (198) –     
beatific (199) –
Into the Wild  writing prompts                                    due date:
#8 Read pages 70 – 72 
After reading the selection, please respond fully to the following prompts. These will be kept in the third section of your notebook. Be sure that your responses are dated, labeled (Into the Wild with chapter numbers), and have your name on them. Your responses are expected to be in written paragraph form and will be collected and graded daily (out of 20 points).
Each day we will review homework responses during discussion of the novel. Participation in class discussion is expected and it will graded each week  At the end of each discussion, you should note at the top of your homework how many times you participated and indicate the type of participation, such as: asked a question, commented on the character, answered a homework question, or challenged another student’s comment.  Your participation grade will be 10 classwork points each week.
1. Think about the following questions:  Do you feel, as one letter writer did, that there is “nothing positive at all about Chris McCandless’ lifestyle or wilderness doctrine …surviving a near death experience does not make you a better human it makes you damn lucky” (71); or do you see something admirable or noble in his struggles and adventures?  Was he justified in the pain he brought to family and friends in choosing his own solitary course in life?
2. After pondering the questions, write a letter to Jon Krakauer that responds to these questions and addresses what value you thought this book had for you.  Your letter should be at least one page in length typed or one and half hand written.
Additional Discussion Topic: What can be learned from McCandless’ story?