A bachelors degree, a well to do family, money, potential, intelligence are all extremely sought after traits in every young up and comer, yet one of our brightest, most promising prospects traded those desirables for a life of exploration and person freedom. In Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, a tale of a boy with the worlds possibilities at his fingertips was found dead in an abandoned bus in the Alaska bush after years of nomadic existence.
This boy, Chris McCandless, never settled for he path that was laid before him, he understood his potential and felt that in order to make the most of it, he must live the life that was most important to him. This story of romanticism and individuality can be explained no better than through the use of rhetoric, ethos, pathos, and logos. And in this rhetoric, a bond can be found by every present and former teen at the cusp of adulthood that is as exciting as is regretful, for we all remember what it was to have dreams, but very few experience what it is to ursue them.
Krakauer’s ability to keep the reader trusted in Alex McCandless’s pursuit of his dreams was fulfilled through the use of logos. Krakauer was able to let the reader remain enticed with the question ‘how could such a smart kid make such dumb mistakes?. Krakauer appealed to the reader by revealing McCandless’s intelligence such as “In May 1990, Chris graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, and had distinguished himself as a history and anthropology major with a 3. 72 grade-point average” (Krakauer 20).
To have such raw intelligence and yet live a nomadic, near vagrant life, is a conflict that the reader can only solve by continuing to read the novel. By displaying McCandless’s vast intelligence and potential, Krakauer is able to portray even more how outrageous of a life McCandless lived. A smart, driven boy threw away an impressive education to travel the western United States in pursuit of a dream that only he could understand. Through ethical and reasonable appeal, the reader could empathize with the confounding McCandless’s ambitious pursuit.