Into The Wild Epigraphs

By: Harry Davis & Matt Nutt

Page 15

" I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt in myself a superabundance of energy which I found no outlet in our quiet life."

Leo Tolstoy

Interpretation: some people are bored by the average lifestyle and choose one full of adventure and excitement even though they are putting themselves in danger to do so.

Relation to Text: This epigraph explains why Chris decided to run away from his family, the average life he was destined to live didn't satisfy his need for adventure and so he found himself out of place and force him to seek more excitement and joy in his future.

Pg 38

" The dominant primordial beast was strong in Buck, and under the fierce conditions of trail life it grew and grew. Yet it was a secret growth. His new born cunning gave him poise and control."

Jack London

Interpretation: One's surroundings shape who they are ,but in the case of some their changes in personality remain hidden to others around them.

Relation to Text: Buck a character from Call of The Wild can serve to demonstrate the developing of Chris's mental state and crave for adventure throughout his childhood.

Page 70

"It may, after all, be the bad habit of creative talents to invest themselves in pathological extremes that yield remarkable insights but no durable way of life for those who cannot translate their psychic wounds into significant art or thought."

Theodore Roszak

Interpretation: For some people their creative talent and abilities hinders them from being a functional part of society.

Relation to Text: Chris's creative mind set separates him from others in society as is ultimately the reason he chooses to leave his family as he realizes he is not like them and doesn't want to become like them.

Page 117

" For children are innocent and love justice, while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy."

G.K. Chesterton

Interpretation: Children are naturally born pure and kind, but over time society alters our perception into a negative Judgment of the people around us.

Relation to Text: Chris was born as normal as any other child, but as he grew up the influences around him, including his family, friends, and teachers, shaped his view of the world and judged people accordingly. This judgement of the world and the people around him is a cause of his departure from society.

Page 133

" I grew up exuberant in body but with a nervy, craving mind. It was wanting something more, something tangible. It sought for reality intensely, always as if it were not there...

But you see at once what I do. I climb."

John Menlove Edwards

Interpretation: People are unsure as to why they enjoy and find happiness in doing certain things that may seem odd to others, but they do them anyway.

Relation to Text: When on the road and traveling, Chris found himself truly happy with himself, and enjoyment in an activity that most people might call him crazy for doing. This happiness and enjoyment was what helped Chris to carry on through his adventure in peace.


"Childhood is what plants the seed for the future of a life, all people are naturally born kind and free of sin. However, the negative and scornful aspects present in human nature, which are then illustrated in today's harsh society, contribute a major influence to one's image and perception of their surroundings."

Explanation: This idea of all people are born innocent can be interpreted to be the underlying idea throughout the book. It explains why Krauker explains to be not at fault for what happened, for it was the influences around him in his childhood that subsequently pushes Chris' mind into the direction of achieving his happiness and satisfaction through adventure and escaping the average every-day life he was doomed to live.