Into the wild consists of two plots that are interconnected. One involves direct actions while the other represents the painstaking development of a psychological profile of Christopher McCandless. The first plot narrates McCandless’s journey to the wilderness, whereas the second one places focus on Krakauer and, indirectly, the reader’s understanding of McCandless motivations and character.
The story begins with the body of Christopher McCandless being discovered by Alaskan hunters who had visited Denali national park. They radio for help, and the FBI arrives to retrieve the body. Krakauer then pays a visit to the company of Wayne Weisberg. They narrate McCandless’s character and describe him as an intelligent, engaging and determined young man.
Immediately after completing college, McCandless drove to leak Mead located in Nevada where a flashflood incapacitated his engine. He leaves it behind along with everything and later on buys a canoe in an attempt to paddle along the Colorado River on his way to Mexico.
Finally, after months of canoeing, he decides to settle in Bullhead City, Arizona. However, he leaves shortly after and encounters Jan Buress in California. While preparing for a trip to Alaska, Krakauer received a mail Ronald Franz describing the troubled relationship between McCandless and his father. This letter shows the reader how McCandless’s risky behavior put others into trouble. Krakauer then tells of this story through an article he had posted on the outdoor magazine.
Later on, Krakauer carries out a deeper investigation into McCandless’s life. He visits his parents, and they show him pictures of his McCandless’s childhood. They also explain the heartbreak he caused them. Krauker also realizes the anger McCandless had against his family. When he set out on a trip to California, he relied his father was a bigamist.
John Krakauer also sets up a journey similar to McCandless’s and experiences some of the inconveniences in the wilderness, but somehow managed to survive. This parallel story shows that McCandless might not have been suicidal upon setting out for the outdoor tour.