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An Ecocritical Exploration of McCandless’ Pilgrimage Into the Wild : A Literary Analysis of the Representations of Nature in Into the Wild

  • Taylor, Vicky
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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This essay examines Jon Krakauer’s novel Into the Wild from an ecocritical perspective. It aims to analyse three representations of nature: its interdependence with culture, its connection with transcendence, and nature as a linguistic or cultural construct in Into the Wild and relate them to ecocriticism today. The analysis uses Peter Barry’s introduction to ecocriticism in Beginning Theory: An introduction to literary and cultural theory as its main theoretical framework, along with theories by famous ecocritics such as Laurence Coupe, Kenneth Burke, and William Rueckert. Christopher McCandless’ journey in Into the Wild highlights how it may no longer be possible to consider nature and culture as two separate entities due to the domestication of nature and humans alike. This analysis further discusses the potential reasons why individuals such as McCandless may feel a need to turn to nature as a solution for the problems they may experience in their lives. This exploration also considers how the attitude towards nature and wilderness has shifted and been reconstructed through time and how this may have helped shape McCandless’ mental image of nature and wilderness, which Krakauer explores in his novel.

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