While McCandless cuts ties with his family, he writes often to the people he has befriended on the road, such as Jan Burres, Wayne Westerberg, and Ronald Franz. These notes and postcards, as do Chris’s letters to his sister Carine offer a glimpse into his thoughts, feelings, and travels. In this way, these correspondences represent Chris’s attempt to reach out and connect with others—his need for fellowship, friendship, and companionship. Yet these written artifacts are also harbingers of death. McCandless’s S.O.S. letter asking for help reveals his near-death state, while his final postcard to Wayne Westerberg is eerily prophetic, foretelling Chris’s “fatal” demise on The Stampede Trail.
Postcards, Notes and Letters Quotes in Into the Wild
The Into the Wild quotes below all refer to the symbol of Postcards, Notes and Letters. 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: 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 1 Quotes
This is the last you shall hear from me Wayne…If this adventure proves fatal and you don’t ever hear from me again I want you to know you’re a great man. I now walk into the wild.
Postcards, Notes and Letters Symbol Timeline in Into the Wild
The timeline below shows where the symbol Postcards, Notes and Letters appears in Into the Wild. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 - The Alaska Interior
Chapter 2 - The Stampede Trail
...looking Anchorage couple. Horrified by a rotting smell emanating from the bus and a disturbing SOS note from Chris McCandless attached to its door, they refuse to enter, but Samel ventures in,... (full context)
Chapter 3 – Carthage
...Atlanta, where they find his apartment available for rent. Back home they find all their letters to Chris returned in a bundle. Having instructed the post-office to hold his mail for... (full context)
Chapter 4 - Detrital Wash
Chapter 6 - Anza-Borrego
Chapter 7 – Carthage
...Gail Borah, who senses that she will never see him again. From Alaska McCandless sends postcards to Wayne, Jan Burres and Bob, bidding them a final farewell before walking “into the... (full context)
Chapter 8 – Alaska
...receives mounds of mail criticizing his portrayal of McCandless in Outside magazine. In one long letter, Nick Jans’ rails against Chris’ ill preparedness, ignorance of the land, and aesthetic values, comparing... (full context)