McCandless has a conflicted relationship with money. He vacillates from rejecting it outright—giving away the remainder of his college fund to OXFAM and burning his remaining cash in the desert—to doing any number of odd jobs and hard labor at Wayne Westerberg’s grain elevator to scrape together enough money for his “great Alaskan odyssey.” He works as a burger flipper for minimum wage at McDonald’s, yet Krakauer describes Chris as a natural “salesman” who demonstrates enough business sense to make $7,000 in one summer. Chris’s complicated connection to money shows his unwillingness to live an affluent or indulgent lifestyle, but also McCandless’s difficulty reconciling his footloose existence with the monetary demands of modern living.
Money Symbol Timeline in Into the Wild
The timeline below shows where the symbol Money appears in Into the Wild. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4 - Detrital Wash
...Bud Walsh, discovers McCandless’s yellow Datsun abandoned in the Detrital Wash, near Lake Mead. Some loose change and twenty-five pounds of rice are left in the car with the keys in the... (full context)
Chapter 5 - Bullhead City
Chapter 11 - Chesapeake Bay
...D.C. suburbs, where Walt works for NASA, then starts a consulting firm with Billie. With money tight, Walt and Billie work long hours and fight frequently over the business, while Chris... (full context)