Monday, January 11, 2010

Novel Summary

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is a best-selling novel on the account's of the adventurous teen Christopher McCandless' trek from Atlanta, Georgia to Stampede Trail, Alaska. The rugged story retraces the exhilarating yet shocking life that McCandless left his past promising life behind for. Along the way, Christopher meets many influential people who that alter his take on life; however none of those people can stop Christopher from diligently continuing on his journey. McCandless even claims that living penniless seems to have a greater value than keeping money with him. Christopher McCandless goes beyond taking a leap of faith when he leaves everything                       behind in the wrenching novel Into the Wild.
Image from: http://www.markcombes.com/uploaded_images/into-the-wild-safe-726049.jpg

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Jon Krakauer



Jon Krakauer is an accomplished author with his many award winning novels, as well as being an experienced mountaineer. Born in Corvallis, Oregon in 1954, Krakauer started mountain climbing with his father at the age of eight. As he continued to climb and heighten his skills in the wilderness, Jon Krakauer used these events as inspirations for many of his books.
After graduating from Hampshire College in 1977, Krakauer attempted to climb the Devil's Thumb in southeastern Alaska. This steep mountain is sheerly ice-dappled and seldom conquered by the most advanced hikers. Krakauer climbed the mountain along a route that had never been attempted, and after many setbacks Krakauer gave up; however these false attempts contributed to his mass produced novel Into the Wild. 
Another example of Jon Krakauer's infusions of wilderness with reading was the chronicles of his hike up Mount Everest. In 1996, Krakauer agreed to go on an expedition up mount Everest in order to write an article for Outside Magazine; however, that season on Mount Everest was one of the deadliest ever and turned fatal for Krakauer's teammates and his expedition leader. In the midst of recovering physically and emotionally from the unfortunate expedition, Krakauer turned his article into a full novel called Into Thin Air. This compelling yet tragic novel made Krakauer a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Throughout the nineties, Jon Krakauer has continued to research and write novels and articles, as well as continuing to explore the unknown wilderness.

Info and Image from: http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/Fall05/morse/bio.html

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oh the Places I'd Go

San Francisco seems quite attractive with its ongoing, rolling hills that support tall buildings full of life and action. Compared to many U.S. cities, such as New York and Seattle, San Francisco is in a warmer, more temperate climate. Along with this, the city lies on the Pacific ocean and encompasses the relaxed beach life and the exciting city life. Almost every designer and store has a location in San Francisco, making it a high fashioned, wealthy area. San Francisco is also a safe city with many family attractions that include Pier 39, the Aquarium by the Bay,  cruises, and many more. With this, San Francisco seems to be a wonderful city that is full of exhilaration for the aspiring youth as well as the common family.

Image from: http://www.jungyul.com/photoblog/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/san-francisco-skyline-at-night.jpg

Friday, January 8, 2010

Direct vs. Indirect Characterization

According to Dicitonary.com
Direct Characterization: in literature and drama, the method of character development in which the author simply tells what the character is like
According to Teachingcomics.org
Indirect Characterization: shows things that reveal the personality of a character. There are five different methods of indirect characterization:
          Speech-What does the character say? How does the character speak?
            Thoughts-what is revealed through the character’s private thoughts and feelings?
            Effects on other Characters- What is revealed through the character’s affects on other people? How do other characters feel and behave in reaction to this character?
            Actions-What does the character do? How does he behave?
            Looks- what does the character look like? How does he dress?
chris1.jpg (400×219)
So far, I have gotten the impression that Alex is completely and utterly independent; however his independence often comes off as being stubborn or arrogant. Many people also find Alex to be slightly crazy or adulterated with some complexes, but these impressions are only because the normal population doesn't understand the intensity of independence that Alex portrays. Not many people can go weeks without seeing another human or can live with less than minimal amounts of money like Alex can.
Direct  Characterization


  • ·         Congenial
  • ·         Well educated
  • ·         Afraid of water
  • ·         67 lbs. when he died
  • ·         Wayne Westerburg claimed that Alex was “…the hardest worker I’ve ever seen. Didn’t matter what it was; he’d do it…” (pg. 18)
  • ·         Ethical
  • ·       Westerberg also explained, “You could tell right away that Alex was intelligent.” (pg. 18)
  • "Nice guy (McCandless), yeah pretty nice guy. Didn't like to be around people much." -Charlie (pg.42)
  • temperamental
  • "Nor was McCandless endowed with a surfeit of common sense." (pg. 62)





Indirect Characterization


  •          Short winded, when the driver asked for Alex’s last name he answered, “Just Alex.” (pg. 4)
  •          Risk taker, traveling with no worldly items and cheap camping gear. The only food he carries is a ten pound bag of rice; nothing substantial
  •          Free willed
  •          Against the government and its laws
  •          Humble and modest, gives the driver the last of his common items that he will not need since Alex had previously burned his money. He seldom takes any valued item that is given to him
  •          Gives all of his money from college to charity; he’s charitable
  •          Slightly arrogant, in a letter to his sister, Alex wrote, “…or that they’d think I’d actually let them pay for my     law school if I was going to go… I’ve told them a million times that I have the best car in the world…yet they ignore what I say and think I’d actually accept a new car from them….” (pg. 21)
  •          Ambitious
  •          Determined
  •      Detached; Alex even changes his name to completely start his new life




Thursday, January 7, 2010

Life Long Journey


If I were to customize an object with eight significant symbols about my life, I would customize a dress. Each asset added to the dress would depict my life odyssey thus far. As an infant, I was first born with red hair that eventually changed to blonde. Also, I was a bubbly toddler was constantly dressed in the latest girly, baby trends that my mother put on me. As I grew into my elementary years and my conscience was slowly maturing, I started to absolutely idolize my brother. I dressed and acted exactly as they did. Also, in this time, I started filling my time with dance and other sports; however, as I grew into middle school, all other sports diminished from my life. Dance became the main focus. In middle school, my brothers went away to college, and I was left to independently find myself. Thus, these years tended to be slightly disheveled but otherwise important. Now as I have begun high school, I have refined myself to academics, dance, piano, art, and fashion. As high school advances, I find that my independence is becoming fully constructed as my confidence grows. I hope to continue to advance in dance and head down the ethical, valuable path.
           From this, the dress is embellished with a loosely knit sweater that has a tint of red. This shows the disheveled look from middle school and the change in my hair color as an infant. Also, there are cutsey ribbons on the dress to depict my baby clothes; however, the bows are loosely connected to the dress to show my maturity. The dress is worn with combat boots to show the time where I dressed like my brothers, and to go along, the accessories with the dress include hardcore, chunky jewelry. All of this shows the masculine effect of m brothers that i have over the years worked into being feminine and unique. the hair of the model is worn in a bun to show my dedication to dance. There is also an anarchy symbol intertwined into the bottom of the dress. This is not meant to imply that I am a rebellion, but it is a loose connection to the independence that I have found within me. The many different aspects of the dress can be put together to symbolize my life journey.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Google Earth Trip

Krakauer does a superb job of creating reality in his imagery throughout his novel Into the Wild; however, the Google Earth trip that followed McCandless's adventure was truly beneficial. To see the different sites that McCandless had been through made my visualizations a reality. Also, the picture brought an eerie feeling to me to see the actually places that brought death upon McCandless. I was shocked to see the Alaskan terrain in the photographs; there was so much snow and tundra that I cannot see how any person would be able to overcome the dangers of the terrain. McCandless managed pretty well in the wilderness and this Google Earth trip gave me a greater appreciation for his abilities.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Now Walk Into the Wild

I painted a landscape inspired by the true view from Stampede Trail and Chris's last letter to Wayne Westerburg. In the letter to Wayne, Chris ended with "I walk into the wild" (pg.63). Such a strong phrase appealed to me as an inspiration for such a landscape. l used nuetral, natural tones to give an organic feel to the painting; however, the main use of the color pallet was to bring out Mt.McKinley in the background. The compositional format that l utilized was the golden spiral. This format uses proportions that appeal naturally to the eye through the shape of a spiral. Through my acrylic painting, I hope to depict the attractive beauty that such a dangerous place can perspire.