Friday, April 17, 2009

Into and Out of the Wild: Ch. 16-17


As we come closer to the concluding pages of the story about one man's journey into the wilderness to not only find, but create himself, I would like you to write an at least three paragraph reflection on what you believe is the most important lesson to learn from his story.

Please use chapters 16 and 17 as reference points, enlightening your classmates as to what you think are the major insights to be gained from the final chapters of this powerful story.

What are some themes, symbols, images, metaphors and other other literary techniques that people should be aware of in understanding the deeper meaning of the text.

Have at it, and be sure to quote from the text, using the proper format for quotations such as follows:

Krakauer writes, "..." (#).
For instance, "..." (Krakauer #).
According to Krakauer, "..." (#).

This reflection is DUE WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22, 2009 by class-time on blog or typed, hard copy. It will be worth 10 points, so put the proper intellectual effort into this.

Brother Supertramp, FSC

p.s. don't forget to head your entries with the following:

Your Name
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
April 22, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Exploring Chapters 10-12


You created the questions and so you answer ONE of the following in a WELL-DEVELOPED paragraph (or two or three) that quote(s) from the text for support (for formatting guidelines see earlier posts where I explain it.)

Please indicate which question you are answering by retyping it above your answer.

This blog response is Due Wednesday, April 15, 2009 by class-time on blog (or typed, hard copy if you cannot log-in).

Please follow proper heading format:

Your Name
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
April 15, 2009

The questions:

  • How did Westerberg prove to the Alaska State Troopers that he knew McCandless? Why?
  • Why did McCandless show sympathy for the homeless? What is an example of such sympathy?
  • Why was it that McCandless seldom contacted his parents? What did they think?
  • Why did the cop get so many calls from people claiming to know Chris?
  • How did Chris approach any task given to him? Give examples.
  • Why did Chris become less and less talkative and friendly with his parents? How did he express his feelings?
  • Sam, Chris' half brother had to tell his father and stepmother about Chris' death. How do you think he broke the news to them?
  • How may have Chris' relationship with his father triggered his radical change in lifestyle after college?
  • On page 121, Krakauer tells of the secrets of Walt's divorce and remarraige. How did this new information affect Chris? Could this have influenced his later disappearence and death?
  • How did McCandless' friends react to hearing of his death? Why did the react this way?
  • How may have McCandless' childhood experiences have influenced him to leave his home and family?
  • Why do you think McCandless strayed away from the social world and put a heavy emphasis on academics at college, but then run away shortly after graduation?
  • What were some odd charactersitics of Christ at young age? Why were they odd?
  • Explain Chris' political views and how they were reflected in his trip.
  • Why did the troopers give Gallien a chance to plead his case, but not Westerberg?
  • If Chris seemed so preoccupied with making money in high school, why did he eventually give all his money away? What caused this change of heart?
  • Why, all of a sudden, did Christ seem to despise his parents?
  • What is the significance of Billie McCandless' dream about Chris? What does it say about her relationship with him?
  • Why do you think Chris never told his family about wanting to go on an adventure?
  • Why did Chris leave South Dakota so abruptly?
  • Why was everyone so moved by Chris' speech on Walt's birthday? Why did they then let him leave?
  • Which was it, his virtues or his falws that may have ultimately lead Chris into the wild?
  • How are people's reactions to Chris's death unique due to the awakwardness of all his relationships?
  • Why do you think chapter 12 focuses so strongly on his faults? What are they?
  • How does the epigraph on page 103 tie into the story about McCandless?
  • Do you think Chris ever thinks about what he leaves behind everytime he moves to a new territory? Explain.
  • What do you think the deeper meaning of chapter 11 is? Explain.
  • Does Chris possess any of the same charactersitics as he did when a child? Are they negative or positive characteristics? Explain.
  • Why do you tink Chris can so easily isolate himself from and socialize with others?
  • Do you think the intro to chapter 10 is an accurate description of what the official found, or did they recognize that there was more to the situation than what they saw?
  • Does Walt McCandless share any characteristics with Chris? Explain.
  • What aspects of Chris' personality baffled his parents? Why were they baffled by these aspects of his personality?
  • Why do you think Alex faked his first tax form but made the second one real before he went to Alaska? Was he foreshadowing his own death?
  • When Alex makes a drunken speech to his dad, he puts aside all of the differences. Does this show that deep down Chris still had feelings for him and wanted to be a family? How does this contradict other experiences between the two? Is there anything in particularly that sparked their feud? Explain.
  • What in chapter ten reveals the importance of making friends and of socializing?
  • What changed about the McCandless family after Chris died?

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Journey Continues: Ch. 4-9


As with I, John Baptist De La Salle, it is up to you to find your own meanings in reading the text. The only way for a story to become relevant, after all, is for you to fully invest yourself into it as if you were an archeologist trying to uncover some long buried secret about existence.

Anyhow, you create the questions and so you answer ONE of the following in a WELL-DEVELOPED paragraph (or two or three) that quote(s) from the text for support (for formatting guidelines see earlier posts where I explain it.) Your questions should focus on discovering and explaining the literary techniques we discussed in class earlier this week as they are revealed in one of the chapters between four and nine.

This blog response is Due Wednesday, April 8, 2009 by class-time on blog (or typed, hard copy if you cannot log-in).

Please follow proper heading format:

Your Name
Bro. Rob Peach, FSC
Rel 011.04
April 8, 2009

The questions:

  • What characteristics does Christopher McCandless share with other famous explorers as told to us in chapters eight and nine?

  • On page 71 of chapter eight, many harsh criticisms are written of McCandless' story. Symbolically, what is this similar to in peoples' faith experiences?

  • Why do you think that McCandless keeps moving around, not staying in one place for a very long time? What does this suggest about his spirit?

  • In chapter eight, Krakauer discusses the philosophies of Rosselini and Wateman. Why does he do this? How do these stories help characterize McCandless?

  • Why do you think Christopher refers to himself in third person when he writes in his journal? (see chapter four)

  • In chapter four, what do you think the epigraph suggests about the upcoming events? Be sure to refer to the events that are described in detail in the chapter, summarizing and explaining them as they apply to the epigraph.

  • Why, if McCandless is trying to find spiritual importance in nature, would he make his final trip into the wilderness one that takes place in Alaska (considering its harshness)? (see chapter seven)

  • In chapter seven there is a lot of detail about the people he meets in Carthage. How do the relationships he builds on this trip effect him?

  • What did McCandless tell Franz to do with his life when he left Franz's house? Why did he tell him this? How can this apply to your life? (see chapter six)

  • How would you characterize McCandless' actions when he gives his money to charity and burns all of his money? What kind of statement is he making? Explain.