Honors English III
 
Your first blog post will replace your first quiz on Into the Wild.  Please be aware that I will be grading your responses carefully and critically to make sure you have a complete understanding of the material.  Answer each discussion question completely, using the text as evidence of your reading.  Also, when replying to others, make sure you add new insights and elaborate on your responses!!!!

1. 
Why do you think Chris changed his name to Alex? What is he hoping for with this new identity? Reflect on these two questions and how transcendentalism plays a role in these decisions.


2.  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.


3. 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.

Each person in the group should and can use different quotes and explanations in the last two questions.  No answer should be exactly alike; you may not agree with McCandless' views or decisions and that will be reflected in your responses!
 


Comments

Nikki.
12/14/2010 13:50

Question:
I believe that Chris changed his name to Alex because he wanted to start all over like he was living a new life. With this new identity, he was hoping to start over and find the real him. A trancendentalist believes that they can do things independently wuithout the input of others. When Chris changed his name and said that he wanted to start over, he "went into the wild" to find other things he enjoyed. By doing this he became more adventurous and open to new things. I trancendentalist also believes that nature is part of everything. While Chris is on this journey, he finds everything through nature and refuses to take the help of cars, planes, or anything that isn't by foot.

Question 2:
Starting on December 5th, Alex tried to search for a conoe so that he can travel the waters to get across the border. This went on until the middle of January and he finally returned to the United States without being asked for an ID. In his journal he wrote: "All hopes collapse! Alex is utterly cofounded. All is in despair." (35) This tells us that he went through hard times but never gave up on his goal to find new things in life.

Reply
Holden Sumner
12/14/2010 15:26

Question 1:
I believe that Chris changed his name to Alex because he was unhappy with the life he was living and wanted every element of his new life to be different. He was hoping to become a new person and live the way Alex wants to because the way Chris was living and how Chris parents wanted him to live was not who he wanted to be. This reflects on the actions of transcendentalism because transcendentalist were all about living life to the fullest and not depending on no one. The most importants thing transcendendalsit believed was for a person to be themselves. In Alexs case he is doing all of these things.

Question 2:
In this chapter Alex got separated from his car because of a flash flood but instead of trying to explain why he had no current drivers licsense or insurance he abandoned the car and took off on foot. Before he did this he took all the money he had and burned it. Finding the meaning of how life is because he said the leaving his car was "a huge mistake" because of the heat and this is one of the first times he experiences livfe on his own.

Question 3:
He lives by his own words by saying "it was difficult to catch rides into the Yukon Territory" to finalize his travel he "This is the last letter you will recive ready to live amongst the wild" by him saying this he has succsessfully made it to alaske without a plane ride.

Reply
Jake Hunsucker
12/14/2010 16:01

Question 1:
I think Chris changed his name to Alex because he wanted to start a new chapter in his life. He just wanted to have a clean slate and forget whatever happened to him before he took this long journey. I think Chris McCandless wanted to forget everything that happened between him and his father. His dad was constantly pressuring him to do something that Chris didn't want to do. Chris was living a life that he just wasn't happy living in. He wants to be happy in the decisions he makes and he again was not satisfied where he was going in life. In transcendentalism, people believe that you shouldn't let other people or society tell what you should or should not do. Make decisions on your on and don't be afraid to make mistakes.

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Jake Hunsucker
12/14/2010 17:13

Question 1:
On February 3, according to his journal, McCandless went to Los Angeles "to get a ID and a job but feels extremely uncomfortable in society now and must return to road immediately." This tells me that Chris McCandless wanted to get out of society as soon as possible and to get on with his long journey. It sounds like he wanted to escape from society before somebody tried to influence him to do something that he didn't want to do.

Reply
Jake Hunsucker
12/14/2010 17:15

Question 2:
On February 3, according to his journal, McCandless went to Los Angeles "to get a ID and a job but feels extremely uncomfortable in society now and must return to road immediately." This tells me that Chris McCandless wanted to get out of society as soon as possible and to get on with his long journey. It sounds like he wanted to escape from society before somebody tried to influence him to do something that he didn't want to do.

Reply
Jake Hunsucker
12/14/2010 18:10

Question 3:
One example McCandless actually lived by his own words was when he went to work for Westerberg at the grain farm. Chris did the dirty workthat nobody else wanted to do. He mucked out the warehouses, exterminated vermin,and painted. Westerberg said "Alex hadn't been around machinery much...and it was pretty comical to watch him try to get the hang of the clutch and all those levers. He definitely wasn't what you'd call mechanically minded." This shows us that McCandless was not afraid to try new things and do the dirty jobs. Another example is when Westerberg says, "I don't recollect Alex ever talking about any girlfriends." This tells us that Chris didn't want to get distracted with a girl while on this long journey. He really wasn't interested in getting into a relationship with a girl.

Reply
Jake Hunsucker
12/15/2010 14:17

Reply to Holden Question 1:
I agree with what you said that Chris wanted to change his name to Alex because he was living an unhappy life. He is living life to the fullest and was not going to let anyone tell him what he should do. He was tired of people like his father doing that. Alex wanted to make his on decisions.

Reply
Jake Hunsucker
12/15/2010 14:24

Reply to Holden Question 2:
You are right when Chris left his car behind. This truly was one of the first times that he was going to live life on his on. Chris was making his on decision now and when he left his car behind he said this was "a huge mistake." He was having to learn from his mistakes and he was doing exactly that when he left his car behind.

Reply
Jake Hunsucker
12/15/2010 14:30

Reply to Nikki Question 2:
I agree with what you said that even though Chris was going through hard times he never gave up to find new things in life. He is a very determined person. When Chris has his mind set on something, he will not turn back at all.

Reply
Nikki.
12/15/2010 16:09

Question 3:

When Chris refuses to take a plane ticket, it explains to us his determination towards the trip. He believes that if he is going to take the trip he needs to be "all in." At the end of this chapter on page 69 Chris sends a letter to Bob and Jan that states "This is the last communication that you shall receive from me. I now walk out to live amongst the wild. Take care, it was great knowing you." When Chris sends this letter he is letting them know that he made it without help and proved to them that it is possible. Chris was very strong and went into his adventures believing that he may not make it out. This explains why he said "it was great knowing you." Chris also states that he will not postpone his trip a week or two longer under any circumstance. "Westerburg was both shorthanded and very busy, so he asked Mccandless to postpone his departure and work a week or two longer." (67) Chris wouldn't even consider it. This shows his determination and how he refuses to change his plans and the time that he supposed to arrive.

Reply
Nikki.
12/15/2010 16:16

Reply to Jake:
Question 1:

I agree when you said that Chris felt uncomfortable as he faced society. Back then and in today's world, we are all forced and influenced to do other things even when it's not what we really believe. Now that Chris has been independent and making his own decisions, he doesn't want to be around others. He only wants to be alone.

Reply to Holden:
Question 2:

When Chris said that leaving his car was "a big mistake," it made him realize that he will learn from his mistakes and I believe that this mistake made a big turn on his trip through the desert. He began to make smarter decisions and think them through before doing anything.

Reply to Jake:
Question 3:

When Chris worked at the grain farm he did anything that was asked of him. No matter the situation, he didn't mind it. Even though he only got paid a small amount, he would do the hardest work becuase he knew that no one else would do it. Chris was independent and took his job seriously. That is emphasized in this chapter and relates to his other jobs during the book.

Reply
Holden
12/16/2010 14:42

Reply to Jake question 2:
Its true that he was scared of others influencing him into doing what he didnt want to do. Alex was very anxious of getting out of society so he could become his own person. He felt this was the only way to do that.

Reply to Jake Question 1:
I agree when you say that chris changed his name to Alex because he wanted to start a new life. The whole reason for him to go on this Journey Into the wild is to become a new person.

Reply to Niki question 3:
Your right when you state Alex refused a plane ticket and that he succeeded in this by saying "this is the last letter i will write you...going into the wild". Alex stating this means he made it without plane travel.

Reply
Tess Herring
12/16/2010 17:42

Q 1:
I think he changed his name to change him. He wanted to get away and start a new life. He traveled a lot and loved nature. He was just trying to find the real him and what he was all about. Transcendentalism plays a role in his decisions because they believe that you shouldn't have to rely on anybody but yourself to survive. Transcendentalist love nature. Alex was pretty much homeless and traveled a lot exploring nature and all it brings to everyday life. He was a well-rounded person and well respected. He seemed to be very popular with everyone and very caring and down to earth. There was no one like him and everyone had nothing but nice things to say about him after his death. He disrespected his parents only because they wanted him to be something he wasn't. He wanted to live his life his way so he traveled and changed his name.

Reply
Tess Herring
12/16/2010 17:55

Q 2:
Alex finds the Wellteco Canal and heads South. He said that he finds Mexicans to be warm, friendly people. Alex has a hard time pushing the canoe to land. He has to go through reeds and mud. He finally finds dry ground and camps. The next day Alex sails on the sea but becomes confused and only sails in circles. He soon weeps in his canoe. This shows his quest and how frustrated he has become. He finds some Mexicans who can speak English and they help in out. When he states the quote at the end, it expresses his journey and how rough and tiring it was. It shows how relieved he finally is and everything he went through. It was tough for him but he stuck with it and got through it. It gives a good example of dedication and to never give up.

Reply
Tess Herring
12/16/2010 18:06

Q 3:
When he states the quote he means that he would rather travel than fly. He wanted to go through the wilderness instead of taking the easy way out, like everyone else, and flying. One quote from the chapter, page 67, was when Westerberg said, "Once Alex made up his mind about something, there was no changing it." Westerberg saying that shows how stubborn Alex is and how things had to be his way. Whatever he wanted to do, he did it. With determination and motivation. Mrs. Westerberg said, "There was something fascinating about him." She also said that she really enjoyed Alex's company and that they talked for hours about nothing but books. Her saying that shows Alex being different from most people. Most people didn't enjoy reading, but he did. He was a smart, young fellow and got everyone's attention wherever he were to go.

Reply
Tess Herring
12/16/2010 18:11

Reply to Nikki Q 1:
I agree with you because Alex was the type of person that wanted to do things his way. He started out life fresh and new by changing his name. Changing his name, to him, was a way to start a new life. Almost like he was saved by God and decided to change a few things.

Reply
Tess Herring
12/16/2010 18:19

Reply to Holden Q 2:
I agree because Chris leaving his car and burning his money, showed him living on his own. The money and car could have come to good use but instead he leaves the car and burns the money. He soon learned from his mistakes. Nature is beautiful but sometimes today technology is be very helpful, especially in his case.

Reply
Tess Herring
12/16/2010 18:22

Reply to Nikki Q 3:
I agree with you because he was very determined for the trip. He would rather hike than fly. That shows how in love he is with nature and how he wanted to experience the trip through traveling through the nature and experiencing life in a different perspective than what everyone views life as. Taking a plan is the easy thing to do, but he hitchhiked instead showing his determination and stubbornness once again.

Reply
Colby Conklin
05/17/2011 08:30

Question 1: I think Chris changed his name to Alex, for one, to put the past behind him. He didnt want anything to remind him of where he came from and wanted to start fresh. Plus, he didnt want to be found by his parents considering he didnt tell them where he was going. What he really wanted was to never be able to be found by anyone. With this new identity he was free from everyone, he was finally his own person.

Reply
Colby Conklin
05/17/2011 08:38

Question 2: In this chapter, after a flash flood, Alex abandons his prized car, without even trying to see if he could maybe fix it. He obviously didnt care. Except for a few items that he buries to be able to find later, he throws everything else away. He burns his money plainly because he doesnt need it where he's going. As you can tell he wants to be on his own. To be able to get away from everything and see the world for himself. While reading this chapter, I noticed that he loves others company, but he'd rather be alone. Once people start to get close to him, he pushes them away by packing up and leaving. He may need help from others from time to time, but he wont admit it. He thinks he has to do it on his own.

Reply
Colby Conklin
05/17/2011 08:46

Question 3: The main example i have noticed about Chris's determination is his love for being on his own. I've never met someone who would rather hitch hike around the world than be with loved ones. He loves a challenge and accepting the plane ticket would be like failing to him. A quote that i really thought described Alex/Chris was when Wayne Westerburg was telling the readers that "Once Alex made up his mind about something, there was no changing it." You really start to agree as the story continues and you see the true character in Chris. You know that all his decisions show that he is not backing down no matter what. He was said to be a hard worker no matter what the job was, he wanted to be all that he could be. No one was going to keep him from acheiving his personal goals

Reply
testing
05/17/2011 18:43

testing

Reply
Larissa Fogle
05/20/2011 09:20

Question 1:
Chris changed his name to Alex because he didn't want to be found and by using his true idenity it would be easier for those looking for him to find him. A transcendentalist believes in living for yourself and doing your own thing and also to be one with nature. With his new idenity he feels like he's able to start over and he journeys through the wild and only depends on that.

Reply
Larissa Fogle
05/22/2011 07:58

Question 2:
At the end of chapter 4, Chris puts in his journal “It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found." He got rid of his car and told whoever finds it can have it. He burns his money because he doesn't believe he needs it. He wants to live out in nature and only have to depend on it. The meaning he finds is that you don't need material items to be happy in life; you should try new things and experience life in a new persepective.

Reply
Larissa Fogle
05/22/2011 08:33

Question 3:
When Westerberg offers McCandless a plane ticket to Alaska so he could have an extra ten days of work, Chris said "Flying would be cheating. It would wreck the whole trip." Chris had taken this trip to experience life in new ways, figure things out on his own, and be dependent only on himself. "Once Alex made up his mind about something, there was no changing it." I see this throughout the story. Once he makes up his mind about something he is not going to change it. He was determined to get to Alaska with no ones help; he was stubborn. Another quote I found in this chapter that shows that he lives by his words is "If this adventure proves fatal and you don't ever hear from me again, I want you to know you're a great man. I now walk into the wild." When Chris says the adventure might become fatal he is saying he knows some of the situations and choices he's going to make on his journey could be life-threatening, but he's willing to take the risk.

Reply
Larissa Fogle
05/22/2011 17:14

Reply to Colby.
Question 1:
I agree that Chris wanted a fresh start and that's why he chose to be called Alex. Also, he didn't want his parents to find him because he also said that he wanted a "divorce" from his parents.

Question 2:
I agree that Chris loved others company but he didn't want to get attached to them so he would push them away, and he doesn't want help from anyone.

Question 3:
I agree that Chris is a very determined person. He worked hard at everything he did and wasn't going to let anyone tell him he couldn't do something. He was determined to reach his goals.

Reply
Colby Conklin
05/23/2011 08:46

Reply to Larissa.
Question 1:
I agree that when you said "A transcendentalist believes in living for yourself and doing your own thing and also to be one with nature." It really explains why Chris/Alex wanted to start this new life.

Question 2:
I agree that he didnt need material things to be happy. And this journey of his was to show people that he did it, and if they tried they could too

Question 3:
I agree that Chris/Alex was very stubborn. he wouldnt accept help from others unless he really needed it. He liked doing things on his own to feel accomplishment.

Reply
Scott Tyson
05/23/2011 09:28

Question 1
I think chris changed his name to alex because he wanted to start a new life where he can be himself and live off the land.He is hoping to with this identity he will be the person he wantes to be and live how he wants to.Transcendentalism plays a role in these decisions because he doesnt want to live like the rest of socitey he wants to live off nature like they beleive.

Reply
Scott Tyson
05/23/2011 09:34

Question 2

I think the meaning alex found was the life he wanted to live. He founds out the way he wants to live because after he leaves his car and burns his money he seems very happy. It shows he doesnt need material things to be happy in his new life.

Reply
Scott Tyson
05/23/2011 09:39

Question 3
McCandless does live by this because he hitchhikes all the way to alaska. He just doesnt go their as fast as he wants to because he goes to other places before he gets to the alaska.I think he does live by his own words to get to alaska.

Reply
Elyssia Ingram
05/23/2011 09:41

question 1
i think that chris changed his name to alex because he didn't want to be known to anyone. by changing his name he became a new person and can live how he wants to live. he likes to be diffent and follow his own rules by living with and off of nature.

Reply
Alivia Cutts
05/23/2011 09:45

Question 1
I believe that Chris changed his name to Alex so that no one would know who he is and so that he could start all over with another name. He is hoping that with this new name he can go and et away with his adventures.

Question 2
On page 37, in the same journal entry he says somethin about his adventures. That,"He lived on the streets with bums, tramps, and winos for several weeks." Given this inforation he was going through hard times with these other people giving to his experiences and for his memories.

Question 3
I don't think that Alex knew he wasn't following his own rules when he accepted rides that were agreed ahead of time to be taken somewhere was just the same as excepting the airplane ticket. Page 68,"Rod Wolf, one of the Westerberg's employees, needed to haul a load of sunflower seeds to Enderlin, North Dakota, and had agreed to drive McCandless to Interstate 94."

Reply
Elyssia Ingram
05/23/2011 09:46

question 2
i don't think that alex wanted to get attached to people for the fear of getting hurt or pulled into their beliefs. he wants to make his own life and show people he doesn't need technologies or money to make it in his life.

Reply
Elyssia Ingram
05/23/2011 09:51

question 3
i think alex follows his own rules and doesn't realize he's accepting a ride from a vehicle when he already said he was walking. he still walks to alaskan territory but doesn't get as far as he wanted. he started to pursue his dreams but he didn't get to finish them.

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anonymous
05/23/2011 09:54

today i don't feel like doing annyythinng..i just wanna lay in my bed. don't feel like pickin up the phone, so leave a message at the tone,, cuz today i don't feel like doing anyything..nothin at all!! :)

Reply
Alivia Cutts
05/23/2011 09:55

Replies:

Colby question 1
I agree that when he changed his name he was then free from everyone, but what he didn't relized that he would have an affect on those he came to know in the next few years. He thought he wouldn't become attached. What he didn't think of was the other people and their feelings.

Larissa question 2
I believe the reason of his rules and how he thinks he can throw everything away without ever needing it again, but when he refuses the plane ticket because he says,"It would ruin the whole trip" it would be the same when accepting a planed drive.

Colby question 3
Chris/Alex is so stubborn and when he makes his mind up it is for good. He isn't going to change it. You are right. He was not going to let anyone tell him what to do with his life.

Reply
Ray Edwards
05/23/2011 18:25

Question 1
Chris changed his name to Alex to start a new path and identity all in itself. The transcendental feel cannot be felt with lag of something "unpure". So by switching or changing one of the biggest parts about onself to consume something else helps you become one with that object or aspiration.

Reply
Ray Edwards
05/23/2011 18:34

Question 2
He "basked in his newfound freedom" until a flash flood struck; although he was able to salvage his tent and belongings, his car engine was soaked, and he could not get it started afterwards. He abandoned the car, and took advantage of the opportunity "to shed unnecessary baggage," leaving many of his possessions and burning all of his money. Alex has found the meaning of possesion.

Reply
Ray Edwards
05/23/2011 18:45

Question 3
Chris lives by his own words when he says "it was difficult to catch rides into the Yukon Territory", this shows that he did not cheat by flying but rather take the more difficult adventurous way of hitch hiking. "This is the last letter you will receive ready to live amongst the wild" by him saying this he has shown that he has not cheated himself of gone against what he's told anyone by going the hard way. Through trascendentalism Chris is living so he would not cheat his new found life style that would defeat his drastic purpose.

Reply
Ray Edwards
05/23/2011 18:48

Reply to Colby Question 1
I agree with everything you said, you even enlightened me on that making his parents not being able to locate him. Or anyone for that matter.

Reply
Ray Edwards
05/23/2011 18:51

Reply to Larissa Question 2
I agree with what you said by getting of material possesion allows you to free your mind and all aspects of your life.

Reply
Ray Edwards
05/23/2011 18:54

Reply to Scott Question 3
I agree with you when you believe he got to Alaska like he said he would but just by him being there doesn't prove he did it the right way as he said?

Reply
Carly VanLandingham
05/23/2011 19:16

Question 1
I think that Chris changed his name to Alex in order to recreate himself. I think by giving himself a new name he hoped it would help him create a new identity. In transcendentalism they are all about becoming the real you and getting back to nautre. I think by changing his name and "going into the wild" he hoped to find himself and become the person he really was.

Question 2
Alex went to Los Angeles to get a new ID and a few other things but says, "feels extremely uncomfortable in society now and must return to road immediately."(page 37) I think this shows that he found "meaning" in being on the road. He found that that was where he was most confortable and able to be himself.

Question 3
I don't think that Alex completely lived by his own words because he said "flying would be cheating. It would wreck the whole trip." but he was willing to take rides from people. He took a ride from Westerburg and he hitched all over the Pacific coast. To me it seems like taking a plane would be cheating just as much as taking rides from people. However he did live by his words because Westerberg siad "I don't recollect Alex ever talking about any girlfriends." He wasn't willing to let anything get in the way of him "going into the wild" and finding his true self.

Reply
Carly VanLandingham
05/23/2011 19:29

Reply to Colby Question 1
I agree with you that he wanted to change his name so people coulnd't find him. I think that by doing so and disconnecting himself from everything he knew he was able to truly become himself. By staying attached to his parents and people he knew he would have only hindered himslef.

Reply to Larissa Question 2
I agree with you that most people think they need material tings to be happy. Alex wanted to prove this wrong so he got rid of all his material things and lived off the land.

Reply to Alivia Question 3
I totally agree wiht you that he didn't realize that accepting rides from people wasn't much different from taking a plane. In my opinion the only difference would be that the plane is quicker.

Reply
Taylor Thornlow
05/24/2011 09:21

Question 1:
Chris changed his name to Alex to start over and change his life. He hopes to start a new life in a new place and make his life better.

Reply
Taylor Thornlow
05/24/2011 09:24

Question 2:
This quote to me is saying that real meaning doesn't come until you actually go out in life and take a chance, by Alex going into the wild with NO experience what so ever of dealing with nature he's making meaning out of his life. "feels extremely uncomfortable in society now and must return to road immediately."(37)
He's already comfortable in the wild and wants to stay there.

Reply
Taylor Thornlow
05/24/2011 09:27

Question 3:
By him saying "flying is cheating" but yet he takes rides from others is kind of hipocritical. Riding in a car is basically the same luxury as flying in a plane and not walking by foot as he said he would do. He really didn't stick by his word by riding in cars from other people.

Reply
Taylor Thornlow
05/24/2011 09:28

Reply to Alivia, Question 3:
I agree that he did not stick by his word by riding in cars rather than flying in a plane. Riding around instead of walking (like he said he would) is also cheating.

Reply
Taylor Thornlow
05/24/2011 09:29

Reply to Colby, Question 1:
I agree that he wanted to put his past behind him and start over. Changing yoour name is the biggest way to start over and forget everything that has happened in the past.

Reply
Taylor Thornlow
05/24/2011 09:31

Reply to Carly, Question 2:
I agree that he's more comfortable on the road now and doesn't feel right in the city. Your right when you say he can be himself also! That quote explains his feelings about the wilderness in a great way because he doesn't feel comfortable and it says that.

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