The tone that the author adopts when telling a story is very important as it affects how the reader receives the message. In Into the Wild, Krakauer tries to tell the story of Chris McCandless as straightforward as possible but also feels empathetic for Chris because of his personal experiences. This is evident in the Author’s Note when Krakauer says, “Through most of the book, I have tried―and largely succeeded, I think―to minimize my authorial presence. But let the reader be warned: I interrupt McCandless’s story with fragments of a narrative drawn from my own youth.” With that said, the initial tone that Krakauer adopts is neutral, but as the story goes on, he begins to understand why Chris decided to go into the wild.
At the beginning of the book, Krakauer is very factual and unbiased towards Chris. He remains neutral without expressing any emotion. On page 14, Krakauer says that “Virtually no subcutaneous fat remained on the body… Starvation was posited as the most probable cause of death.” In this quote, Krakauer is just stating the facts without expressing any emotion. After all, Krakauer is a journalist his writing is presumed to be impartial.
Later in the book, Jon Krakauer expresses his empathy for Chris. On page 155, Krakauer compares himself to Chris saying that he “thought climbing the Devil’s Thumb would fix all that was wrong with my life”; which was the same philosophy that Chris had. Krakauer also mentions the relationship each of them had with their fathers stating that “But I believe we were similarly affected by the skewed relationships we had with our fathers. And I suspect we had a similar intensity, a similar heedlessness, a similar agitation of the soul.” With these quotes, Krakauer is defending Chris from the critics that said he was incompetent and narcissistic. He is also saying that he understands why Chris decided to go into the wild.
Effects on the Reader of Krakauer’s Epigraphs that Open Each Chapter
Throughout the book of Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer includes epigraphs at the opening of each chapter. These epigraphs are usually quotes from Chris’ favorite writers. Krakauer also inserts photos of maps throughout the book. These elements of the book have several effects on the reader to improve the reading experience. The epigraphs before each chapter give a brief preview of what the chapter is going to entail and set the mood and topic. The maps that Krakauer inserts throughout the book help the reader follow along with the location of Chris along his journey. With these extra components, Krakauer can give the reader a much more pleasant reading experience throughout the book.
With the inclusion of epigraphs at the beginning of each chapter, Krakauer can give a preview of what the chapter is going to include. Including these quotes help the reader recalibrate their focus at each stage of the book so that they can keep on track with understanding the complexities of Chris’ journey. The epigraphs before each chapter also help the reader understand Chris better. They give the reader a better insight into McCandless’ mind and what most likely influenced him to make the decisions that he did.
Jon Krakauer also includes maps throughout the book to help the reader follow along with Chris’ journey. These maps are also very useful for helping the reader follow along with Chris’ journey. They serve as a guide throughout the book to show us exactly where Chris is. They also show us how persistent Chris was because of the very far distances that he traveled.
In conclusion, the epigraphs and photos in Into the Wild have several effects on the reader. They help the reader follow along with the story easier and they help them understand Chris better.