Into the Wild

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Chris’s Journal Symbol Icon
A fragmented, but honest account of his life on the road, written in the third person, the journal gives insight into McCandless’s state-of-mind and travels. It symbolizes Chris’s beliefs, worldview, and his search for truth.

Chris’s Journal Quotes in Into the Wild

The Into the Wild quotes below all refer to the symbol of Chris’s Journal. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The American Wilderness Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Anchor Books edition of Into the Wild published in 1997.
Chapter 18 Quotes

EXTREMELY WEAK, FAULT OF POT. SEED. MUCH TROUBLE JUST TO STAND UP. STARVING. GREAT JEOPARDY.

Related Characters: Chris McCandless (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Stampede Trail, Chris’s Journal, Potato Seeds
Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:

Thanks to Chris's journal, Krakauer is able to piece together, little by little, what Chris's last weeks and days were like – and perhaps to find a key to what caused his death. Here, a passage in Chris's journal provides a clue, as the tone suddenly shifts to one of desperation. We see quite clearly here how one small choice, one minor circumstance, can turn out to be a wild risk when alone and far from civilization. By citing Chris's journal verbatim, Krakauer makes it evident to us just how easily one can slip from safety into danger – and just how easily an idealistic journey can be compromised by lack of knowledge or expertise.

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Chris’s Journal Symbol Timeline in Into the Wild

The timeline below shows where the symbol Chris’s Journal appears in Into the Wild. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 - The Stampede Trail
Luck, Chance, and Circumstance Theme Icon
...the body. A camera with five rolls of exposed film, the SOS note, and a diary, written on the pages of a field guide to edible plants, are recovered along with... (full context)
Chapter 4 - Detrital Wash
Risk and Self-Reinvention Theme Icon
Arrogance, Innocence, and Ignorance Theme Icon
Luck, Chance, and Circumstance Theme Icon
Materialism and Idealism Theme Icon
Using notes from Chris’ journal, Krakauer reports that on July 6, McCandless, ignoring posted warnings, drove off-road into the Detrital... (full context)
Risk and Self-Reinvention Theme Icon
...but finds that his camera has been destroyed. Even so, he exuberantly writes in his journal that he has successfully fended for himself on city streets and is thankful to be... (full context)
Chapter 7 – Carthage
The American Wilderness Theme Icon
Luck, Chance, and Circumstance Theme Icon
Isolation v. Intimacy Theme Icon
Upon leaving, Chris gives Wayne his journal, photo album and leather belt for safekeeping, and tearfully says goodbye to Gail Borah, who... (full context)
Chapter 18 - The Stampede Trail
The American Wilderness Theme Icon
Risk and Self-Reinvention Theme Icon
Arrogance, Innocence, and Ignorance Theme Icon
Near the end of July, McCandless frantically writes in his journal that he is very weak and in grave danger, also rather cryptically mentioning potato seeds. (full context)
Risk and Self-Reinvention Theme Icon
...to walk, McCandless spends his last days reading books and pens a goodbye in his journal, thanking God for a happy life, before crawling into the bus for his final rest.... (full context)