Into The Wild Essay Example: Rhetorical Analysis

  • Category: Literature, Novels,
  • Words: 871 Pages: 4
  • Published: 07 April 2021
  • Copied: 133

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” (Helen Keller). Jon Krakauer conveys this message in the novel, Into the Wild, by encouraging readers to take risks through the tale of Christopher McCandless. He evokes a sense of intrigue and adventure in the reader by applying real-world events and captivating scenery. Krakauer not only exemplifies the strength forgiveness requires, but he also elicits confidence and perseverance in the reader to make one’s own choices. Jon convinces the reader to take chances and to live life to the fullest. He teaches one the importance of taking advantage of his opportunities. In the novel, Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer utilizes the rhetorical strategies of an anecdote, diction, and imagery to display the significance of forgiveness and to persuade the reader to appreciate the beauty of life, no matter the risk. 

Primarily, Krakauer applies the rhetorical strategy of an anecdote to convince the reader to value life, even if it may take unpredictable consequences. Krakauer asserts, “Carine says… My parents can’t help wondering-and I admit that I can’t, either-how things might have turned out different if Chris had taken Buck with him. ‘Chris didn’t think twice about risking his own life, but he never would have taken the same kind of chances if Buck had been with him’” (Krakauer 128). Chris was an adventurer, who was very passionate about nature and exploration. He persevered through his tough circumstances and he pursued his desires. Krakauer elicits wonder and courage in the reader to take action, by employing the use of an anecdote.

He persuades the reader to believe in order to appreciate life, one must pursue his own wishes. Krakauer assists the reader in comprehending the need to make one’s own choices. He declares, ‘“Chris would use the spiritual aspect to try to motivate us,’” recalls Eric Hathaway… ‘“He’d tell us to think about all the evil in the world, all the hatred, and imagine ourselves running against the forces of darkness, the evil wall that was trying to keep us from running our best” (112). Chris believed in living life to the fullest. He lived every day like it was his last. Krakauer evokes a need to take risks in the readers, but also coaxes them to appreciate the miniscule joys of life. He aids the reader in understanding the significance of life. 

Furthermore, Krakauer employs the use of imagery to convince the reader forgiveness is the key to a fulfilled life. He transcribes, “or that they think I’d actually let them pay for my law school if I was going to go . . . I’ve told them a million times that I have the best car in the world, a car that has spanned the continent from Miami to Alaska… I’m going to have to be real careful not to accept any gifts from them in the future because they will think they have bought my respect” (Krakauer 21). Chris had a rocky relationship with his parents, and in the end, he did not end up forgiving them. He never truly understood why they did what they did.

Krakauer utilizes a meaningful tone to display the pain that Chris feels, which encourages the reader to learn to forgive the people who have wronged them. He convinces the readers to show others mercy. Krakauer records, ‘“I just don’t understand why he had to take those kind of chances, “Billie protests through her tears. ‘I just don’t understand it at all” (132). Chris’s parents cannot fully comprehend the reason for all of the risks that he has dealt with. Krakauer applies bold word choice, such as “protests,” to present the message of the importance of forgiveness. He instills sympathy in the readers and coaxes them to exemplify forgiveness to others. 

Conclusively/Ultimately, Krakauer utilizes the rhetorical strategy of imagery to influence the reader to live life fearlessly and to cherish every second. He claims, “Climbing mattered. The danger bathed the world in a halogen glow that caused everything-the sweep of the rock, the orange and yellow lichens, the texture of the clouds-to stand out in brilliant relief. Life thrummed at a higher pitch.

The world was made real” (Krakauer 134). Krakauer displays a hazardous world filled with fear and intensity. He causes the reader to feel helpless and inferior to him. Krakauer convinces the reader in order to appreciate life, he must be courageous. He induces passion and excitement in the reader. Krakauer logs, “Two days after McCandless set up camp beside Lake Mead, an unusually robust wall of thunderheads reared up in the afternoon sky, and it began to rain, very hard, over much of the Detrital Valley” (28). Chris McCandless understood the danger he brought upon himself, but he never backed down. He persevered, which is what Krakauer teaches his reader. Krakauer not only elicits an understanding of the appreciation of one’s existence in the reader, but he also persuades him to take risks and to live life with no fear. He instills dedication and hope for a better future in the reader. 

As one can see, Krakauer applies the rhetorical strategies of an anecdote, diction, and imagery to exemplify the importance of forgiveness and to convince the reader to value life, even if it means taking chances. He makes the readers aware of the danger life holds, but he also encourages one to make the most of this danger, in order to appreciate life. Krakauer also convinces the readers to forgive, but not to forget. He enforces the message, “‘It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found’” (Krakauer 37) through Chris McCandless.



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