Tuesday, January 22, 2008

About Into The Wild

Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer tells the story of a young man, Christopher Johnson McCandless, who gave up all his savings, hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness. His decomposed body was found four months later. Krakauer pieces together the last few months of McCandless’s life, as well as delving farther into his past, as he tries to determine the motivations of the young man and what compelled him to his ultimate fate. Can man conquer nature? What does it mean to live on the fringes of society? How do humans push themselves to the extreme, and why? In Jon Krakauer’s book, “Into the Wild,” these questions are explored, as well as the themes of wilderness, society and exploration, in a compelling nonfiction narrative.

A screenplay directed by Sean Penn and based on the Krakauer book was released on DVD on March 4, 2008. You are required to view the movie this semester. A copy of the movie is available in my office. Contact me for availability. View the trailer here.

Assignment Directions

This write-to-learn online creative thinking assignment requires you to complete 5 postings. Each posting is due on the date assigned prior to the start of class. Late postings will not count and will be assessed a zero. You are to create a blog and use it as an online journal just as Chris would have if he kept one on his journey. You are to write Postings 1, 2, & 3 from Chris' point of view. You will write Postings 4 & 5 from your own perspective. You are to develop a well thought out, creative answer that applies our class discussions, theory from the textbook (Leisure Enhancement), personal evidence based opinion, and of course the book (Into The Wild) to support each of your postings. Become Chris & be creative!!!

Each posting should be a minimum of 200 words in length and free of spelling and grammar errors. I will assess the postings based on the following criteria (each criteria is worth 1 point making the entire posting worth 4 points):
-Discussion of theory from the textbook.
-Evidence of reading Into The Wild.
-Ability to effectively address the topic of the posting.
-Time and effort: spelling, grammar, proofreading, etc.

Post 1: Leisure Time vs Work Time (Due: Monday March 8)

You will write this post as Chris McCandless. Explain your attraction to nature. What is it about the outdoors that fascinates you? What is your motivation for quitting a well paying job so that you can journey across the country with minimal supplies and money? What is important to you about your leisure time? About life?

Please incorporate information from:
-Into The Wild: Chapters 1-5
-Textbook/Discussions: Chapters 1-5

Post 2: Thoreau Reflection (Due: Monday April 5)

You will write this post as Chris McCandless. Please explain the significance of the following passage to you:

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
-Henry David Thoreau

Please incorporate information from:
-Into The Wild: Chapters 1-11
-Textbook/Discussions: Chapters 1-9

Post 3: Family & Society (Due: Monday May 3)

You will write this post as Chris McCandless. Explain how your family and close friends impacted your decision to discard your identity and past life without looking back? What is it about your parents' lifestyle that you rejected? Why? Address the following people and explain your personal views on leisure and how it compares to theirs:
-Your parents
-American society

Please incorporate:
-Into The Wild: Chapters 1-18
-Textbook/Discussions: Chapters 1-14

Post 4: Compare/Contrast Leisure Views (Due: Monday May 10)

You will write this post as you. I want you to compare/contrast your personal views and ideas of leisure & recreation from those of Chris. How are they different? How are they similar? Why are they different/similar? What shapes your views of leisure? What shaped Chris' views of leisure?

Please incorporate:

-Into The Wild: All chapters.
-Textbook/Discussions: All discussions & textbook chapters.

Post 5: Book & Movie Review (Due: Monday May 10)

You will write this post as you. In addition to reading the book you will also be required to view the movie which is available on DVD. A copy is available in my office. Contact me for availability. For this post I want you to reflect on the book and movie. What did you like about the book? Why? What did you dislike about the book? Why? What did you like about the movie? Why? What did you dislike about the movie? Why? Which did you like better, book or movie? Why?

This is an opinion post. You do not need to incorporate information from the textbook/lectures.