“Into the Wild” and “The Grizzly Maze” are complex reads.
To reduce Chris McCandless and Timothy Treadwell to naïve, unprepared fools who are led to their deaths by unreasonable ideology is to miss out on a wider story.
What resonates most with my students when we discuss the books in Adventure/Survival Literature is the idea of purpose. It doesn’t redeem, justify or deify the two, but people want to feel as though their lives have meaning. There is a point to their existence. Without it, despondency and hopelessness sinks in and the thought of not having purpose worries many students.
I showed part of the documentary “Grizzly Man” in
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