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Into the Wild Dialectical Journal

Not sure what to write for your commentary? Here are some tips:

Jenee Gossard of the UCLA Writing Project (1997) suggests the following sentence starters for students who
struggle with right-hand column responses:
I wonder… I noticed…
I began to think of… I was surprised…
I like the idea … If I had been…
I know the feeling… I was reminded of…
Common reader responses include:
● Feelings (boring, sad, exciting, confusing, strange)
● Questions (“I wonder why the author wrote these boring parts?”)
● Images (pictures in the mind, with full sensory response)
● Favorite (or detested) words and phrases
● Echoes (of other books, movies, television shows, headlines, songs, or poems)
● Reaction to characters or events (“That Raskolnikov is so self-absorbed!”)
● Memories (people, events, places you’ve known)
● Connections (to other ideas, people, feelings, books)

KEY-Realist
KEY-Outcast
KEY-Naturalist
KEY- Egocentric

Ch Page Quotation Commentary
apt #
er

1 4 “Well isn’t it like the magazines..” Surprisingly, Alex thought that Alaska was
all that it was thought to be and looked like
how it was in the magazines, however
Gallien knew that it is way different.

1 5 “Alex admitted that the only food in his pack With that said, Alex seems unprepared and
was a ten-pound bag of rice. His gear seemed careless about the fact that Gallien is trying
exceedingly minimal for the harsh to help. He is not stressed that he does not
conditions…” have the right materials.

1 6 Alex “‘had an answer for everything I threw at I begin to think that Alex is a stubborn
him”’ -Gallien character who knows what he wants to do
and is not going to let anyone stop his from
continuing on this journey.

2 10 “These days it isn’t unusual for six or seven What event caused this sudden rush in
months to pass without seeing a human Visitors?
visitor; but in early September 1992 in three
separate parties happened to visit the remote
vehicle on the same afternoon.

2 11 “Thompson, Samuel, and Swanson, however, These men are clearly thrill seekers that are
are contumacious Alaskans with a special willing to take huge risks to be able to go out
fondness for driving motor vehicles where and have fun. I personally feel that only

He set pretty high standards for himself. And he never quit in the middle of something. He would have done bottom of the hole – jobs where you’d get so well in a job or at life in general. If he started a job.” prepared with needed and emergency materials. And he never quit in the middle of something. he’d do it: hard physical labor. That is what it was. damn dirty you couldn’t even tell what you looked like at the end of the day.” 3 18 “It was a different story with Alex. Upon arriving at the Teklanika. Into the Wild Dialectical Journal motor vehicles aren’t really designed to be people that are highly experienced and well driven. very committed. That is what it was. very committed. He was what you’d call extremely ethical. sandy wash” . he’d do it: hard physical labor.” doing these risky activities. I personally feel that only motor vehicles aren’t really designed to be people that are highly experienced and well driven. broad. He was the He is a workhorse.” 4 27 “Ignoring posted warnings that off-road driving I begin to think that the danger of outside is strictly forbidden. Samuel. But even those people need to be very careful. It was almost like a moral thing for him. But even those people need to be very careful. 2 10 “These days it isn’t unusual for six or seven What event caused this sudden rush in months to pass without seeing a human Visitors visitor. He hardest worker I’ve ever seen. but in early September 1992 in three separate parties happened to visit the remote vehicle on the same afternoon. 2 11 “Thompson. something that employers look for when mucking rotten grain and dead rats out of the they try to hire people. Didn’t matter never leaves a job incomplete. they prepared with needed and emergency scouted the banks until they located a wide. as well as good backup for help especially in emergency situations are the people that should be allowed to go about doing these risky activities. and Swanson. something that employers look for when mucking rotten grain and dead rats out of the they try to hire people.. McCandless steered the forces do not affect him and he is just going Datsun off the pavement where it crossed a to do what he wants to do. Didn’t matter never leaves a job incomplete. He set pretty high standards for himself. He was the He is a workhorse. These men are clearly thrill seekers that are are contumacious Alaskans with a special willing to take huge risks to be able to go out fondness for driving motor vehicles where and have fun. 3 18 “It was a different story with Alex. and then they steered headlong people that should be allowed to go about into the flood. He would have done bottom of the hole – jobs where you’d get so well in a job or at life in general. He hardest worker I’ve ever seen. as well as good backup for help braided section with relatively shallow especially in emergency situations are the channels. he’d finish it. however. materials. damn dirty you couldn’t even tell what you looked like at the end of the day.

yet he still “found a Gianini guitar. a that no one can find him. a garbage them. It is the Chris McCandless thought about life deeply 4 experiences. flipping Surprisingly. a harmonica. mostly without triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in harming others. the memories. he came across a sign warning life. “ society that he became more eccentric.93 in loose change. which real meaning is found” 4 31 “Chris had given away his college fund to Money was obviously not a huge necessity OXFAM” in his life. and he believed he could live perfectly with large amounts of money. that’s not being crazy. if he chose to do so. He did not want to be found and bag full of old clothes. It was highly restricted Yuma Proving Ground. so tackle. set of jumper cables. Army’s behaved normally for most of his life. 5 39 “He was holding down a fulltime job. commuting to work on a bicycle” nomadic. the keys to the vehicle’s ignition” 4 “Five days later another ranger returned to the Alex obviously did not really try to start the abandoned vehicle. in seeking absolute truth and peace from McCandless was deterred not in the least. not see these particular natural disasters as McCandless was exhilarated: He saw the unsafe and scary whereas Alex thinks that flash flood as an opportunity to shed they are exhilarating and there were unnecessary baggage” opportunities ahead 4 Chris was very much of the school that you should own nothing except what you can carry on your back at a dead run. and in fact. the great and lived accordingly. 5 46 He acted offended when Burres tried to give He continued on with little amounts of him money but “he wouldn’t take it” money and seemed completely fine with that. managed to jump-start it car and make it run because the rangers without difficulty and drove it out to the instantly got it started without even trying. National Park Service maintenance yard at These showed his careless actions towards Temple Bar” certain ideas. 5 44 “Mccandless had been infatuated with London He loved Jack London's books and looked . he is working and staying in a Quarter-Pounders at a Mcdonald’s on the solitary place rather than being completely main drag. 4 End of “But this is not important.” 4 “ Leaving the river for a day to track a herd of Christopher McCandless could live a normal wild horses. that he was trespassing on the U. a new electric razor. a fishing rod and wanted his where abouts to be a secret. twenty-five pounds of rice. moreover. Into the Wild Dialectical Journal 4 26 “When the ranger looked inside the car he All of Alex’s asest were simple. a saucepan containing acted as if he did not need them or want $4.S. and in the glove compartment. a football. 5 39 “Open a savings account at a local bank” This looks like he is turning his life around and going back to normal ways of living. 4 29 Surprisingly. “Instead of feeling distraught This is unusual because most people would over this turn of events.

go into the wild knowing they could suffer and he had a beard. He said with his sister and talks to her about most they were pretty close” issues. he charmed a lot of folks” steer away from the norms in life and not express his feelings and personalities to others. They have the same personality. 7 63 “It was pretty obvious he didnt get along with He has not forgiven his parents so he does his family. 9 92 “The freedom and simple beauty of it is just Mccandless looked at life from a different too good to pass up” perspective than most 9 94 “Atleast they tried to follow their dream” Ruess and Mccandless are two people who achieve what they set their mind to and do not give up or sacrifice anything. And his face however Chris accepts the fact and yet still in the picture was extremely gaunt” takes a photograph of himself even though he is not in the best shape. 7 63 “Alex wasnt a total space cadet of anything. 6 48 After hiking back up to camp. 7 65 When Alex was in South Dakota he was This was unusual due to Alex’s eccentric “outgoing and extremely personable when the and strange personality which made him spirit moved him. Wayne explained how he was not a total dont get me wrong. 10 102 The detectives showed Same a photo of Chris Most ordinary people in the world would not and it was described as “His hair was long. 6 51 “Over the next few weeks McCandless and Chris felt comfortable enough to even hitch Franz spent a lot of time together” into town to his apartment and bbq steaks. 11 104 “The hardest part… Is simply not having him Chris did not consider how his actions would around anymore…” affect the lives around him. 8 80 “Parallels have been drawn between John They both made journeys in Alaska and Waterman and Chris Mccandless” share similar qualities in their personalities. however he was different than thinking” . foolish 11 106 “[Chris] got up in the middle of the night. 9 92 “Ruess was just as romantic as McCandless” Ruess and Mccandless shared many of the same characteristics. his little sister. But there was gaps in his weird guy.WEsterberg most people making him an outcast in society. 6 52 “Franz grew increasingly fond of Mccandless” He liked him for his naturalist personality and realist since he was so different than any other person Franz talked to. and therefore. his intentions were very selfish. he gets a ride They get along well together and continue to from “Robert Franz” talk and get to know eachother. chris was foolish . Chris almost always had with starvation and many other factors. but he never said much about any not mention them that much. He is close of them expect Carine. 10 101 “The social security number turned out to be Mccandless had trust in Wayne and left his genuine” social security number with him. short hair and was clean-shaven. Even from a young age. Into the Wild Dialectical Journal since childhood” up to his as someone he followed the beliefs of.

12 120 When his old friends from Emory saw him at a This was the point in chris’s life where he party.” 11 109 “Chris was a high achiever in almost Anyone would kill to have the credentials he everything that caught his fancy. that it was a terrible accident accident then why did he go into the wild so comes from reading those few documents he unprepared and without any knowledge of left behind and from listening to the men and what he was getting himself into. Carine is energetic and self It begins to become blatantly obvious that assured. quick to state an Carine and Chris share many of the same opinion” qualities as well as a close bond. not fraternities and sororities. and entered a house down the street for candy to plunder a neighbor’s candy drawer. This is the only item he brought with him and also the heaviest . yet he threw them away to live in the Academically he brought home A’s with little wild. Chris did not like conforming to the social working within the system. 14 134 “My suspicion that McCandless’s death was If McCandless death was unplanned and on unplanned. a high achiever.” 11 113 “Chris didn’t like going through the channels. almost was very self absorbed and did not want to cold” hear about the lives of his friends. 12 120 “I remember he would come home every night This is unusual for a college student to be accounting on the kitchen” so caring and precise with his money to make it an every night thing where he counts it all up. This fully describes how unprepared pound bag of rice. which led to his death effort.” Mccandless was. waiting his turn.” norm. Carines response to that was to of her” eat every scrap of food so that none of it would go to waste and to pay respect to Chris. “chris had gotten lost Chris knowingly went into the wild with the in the Mojave Desert and had nearly thought of not coming out alive. “he seemed very introverted. something Chris all go into college wanting to meet new wanted no part of” people and try new things. however he succumbed to dehydration” still went through with his trip and almost succumbed to dehydration. but he never would have put Buckley in strangely enough he was willing to sacrifice any kind of danger” and risk his own life by going out into the wild but would never put Buck in danger. 13 128 “Chris didn’t think twice about risking his own Chris had a ton of love for his dog and life.” 16 162 ‘The only food Mccandless carried was a ten. 12 120 “Social life at emory revolved around This confuses me because most people. 12 118 Near the end of his trip. has. 13 129 “Like Chris. women who spend time with him over the final year of his life. Into the Wild Dialectical Journal found his way outside without waking his enough to break into his neighbor’s house parents. 13 131 “During the flight home. Carine ate every Since Chris has unfortunately died from scrap of food the cabin attendants set in front starvation. however Chris was offered a presidential spot in the fraternity and even denied that.

” 16 169 “I have lived through so much. right after he walks freedom. no this passage shows how McCandless feels pool. no pets. and deeply excited for the Alaskan “greatest adventure. perhaps. He is clearly proud of himself. Into the Wild Dialectical Journal option to bring. 16 168 Mccandless seemed ready. and now I think Fortunately. no cigarettes. 16 163 “Two years he walks the earth.” into the wilderness. after the long journey it seems home” that Mccandless gets to the end wanting the reassurance of home but when he needs help the most no one is there to save him. Mccandless had the opportunity I have found what is needed for happiness” to find his own personal truth and experience the wild through his logical eccentric personality and unusual views on life. 16 165 “Mccandless was cut off from the rest of the He was completely alone through this whole world” journey which meant he was seeking help within himself to uncover his personal truth. Ultimate about his journey so far. and proud of what he has accomplished. to go Surprisingly. . no phone.