Into the Wild


Jon Krakauer

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Chris’s Field Guide to Edible Plants Symbol Analysis

Chris’s Field Guide to Edible Plants Symbol Icon
McCandless intently studies Priscilla Russell Kari’s An Ethnobotany of the Dena’ina Indians of Southcentral Alaska in order to forage for plants and seeds in the Alaskan bush. While a knowledgeable guide, it fails to warn Chris of a poisonous element in the potato seeds that kill him, thereby suggesting that wisdom can be as deadly as ignorance.
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Chris’s Field Guide to Edible Plants Symbol Timeline in Into the Wild

The timeline below shows where the symbol Chris’s Field Guide to Edible Plants 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
...of exposed film, the SOS note, and a diary, written on the pages of a field guide to edible plants , are recovered along with the remains. (full context)
Chapter 16 - The Alaska Interior
Preparing to 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... (full context)
Chapter 18 - The Stampede Trail
Arrogance, Innocence, and Ignorance Theme Icon Outside magazine that a starving McCandless ate wild potato seeds at the recommendation of his edible plant guide , but mistook the wild potato for the similar-looking, yet poisonous sweet pea plant. (full context)
The American Wilderness Theme Icon
Luck, Chance, and Circumstance Theme Icon
...over the next four years, however, Krakauer concludes that McCandless, following the suggestions of his guidebook, unknowingly ate a plethora of edible potato seeds that happened to be laced with mold,... (full context)