Into the Wild

Devil’s Thumb Symbol Icon
A merciless glacier and peak of sheer ice that Krakauer attempts to scale alone as a young man, Devil’s Thumb represents the allure of risky activities and the unrealistic goals that young men set for themselves because of their hubris, eagerness for a challenge, and sense of invincibility.

Devil’s Thumb Quotes in Into the Wild

The Into the Wild quotes below all refer to the symbol of Devil’s Thumb. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor Books edition of Into the Wild published in 1997.
Chapter 15 Quotes

…like McCandless, I was a raw youth who mistook passion for insight and acted according to an obscure, gap-ridden logic. I thought climbing the Devils Thumb would fix all that was wrong with my life. In the end, of course it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams. And I lived to tell the tale.

Related Characters: Jon Krakauer (speaker), Chris McCandless
Related Symbols: Devil’s Thumb
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:
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Devil’s Thumb Symbol Timeline in Into the Wild

The timeline below shows where the symbol Devil’s Thumb appears in Into the Wild. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 14 - The Stikine Ice Cap
Risk and Self-Reinvention Theme Icon
...age 23, Krakauer, lured by the challenge of climbing a dangerous mount, decides to climb Devils Thumb alone. He is convinced that the experience will change his life. (full context)
The American Wilderness Theme Icon
Luck, Chance, and Circumstance Theme Icon
Nearly out of food, Krakauer anxiously waits for days at the base of Devils Thumb for a plane to drop off supplies. But heavy snow delays it. At first sight... (full context)