Into the Wild

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Chris’ Rifles Symbol Analysis

Chris’ Rifles Symbol Icon
McCandless cherishes his rifles very much, but ends up losing one in a Mexican jail and carrying another in the Alaskan bush that is ill suited for taking down big game. In this way, Chris’ rifles embody the contrast between his vision of the wild and real conditions on the trail. While Chris thinks that a gun prepares him for life in the wild, it only highlights his fragility in and inexperience with the wilderness.
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Chris’ Rifles Symbol Timeline in Into the Wild

The timeline below shows where the symbol Chris’ Rifles appears in Into the Wild. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 - The Alaska Interior
The American Wilderness Theme Icon
Risk and Self-Reinvention Theme Icon
Arrogance, Innocence, and Ignorance Theme Icon
...spots a young hitchhiker shivering on the road and picks him up. Though carrying a rifle, the young man is friendly and introduces himself as “Alex.” He requests a ride to... (full context)
The American Wilderness Theme Icon
Arrogance, Innocence, and Ignorance Theme Icon
Materialism and Idealism Theme Icon
...the quality of the boy’s hiking boots is poor for the wintry weather and his rifle—.22 caliber—is too small to take down big game. (full context)
Chapter 4 - Detrital Wash
Risk and Self-Reinvention Theme Icon
Arrogance, Innocence, and Ignorance Theme Icon
...immigration authorities. He concocts a story to get out of jail, but loses his beloved rifle in the process. (full context)
Chapter 16 - The Alaska Interior
...head into the forest, McCandless picks up a guide to edible plants and purchases a rifle. He hitches a ride from Jim Gallien, then enters the Alaskan bush alone, carrying nothing... (full context)