a. To the desert go prophets and hermits; through deserts go pilgrims and exiles. Here the leaders of the great religions have sought the therapeutic and spiritual values of retreat, not to escape but to find reality. P. 25
This photograph is the desert landscape. With this image I wanted to show a desert that shows signs of life to emphasize that people have traversed it. Here we see tracks in the sand. I wanted an almost welcoming landscape, to show how the desert attracts a wide range of people to it.
The first quote brings its photograph a lot of meaning. With the quote we not only see life in the desert, by seeing the tracks, but we see the pilgrims and exiles in the desert as well. We can almost see people traversing the desert on foot. I wanted this photo to be a picture of the American desert, so my search was American desert. The photograph brings more meaning to the caption by putting a face on a name, we say desert, but what do we mean by desert, which desert? The photograph shows an almost majestic looking desert, and this brings more life to the caption, showing that these exiles, pilgrims, hermits, all went to the desert, attracted by its majesty. Into the Wild has no photographs, so with this photograph, we can bring meaning to what McCandless saw in the desert, majesty, mystery, perhaps, and like in the caption, the people that he read about in the works that he read, pilgrims, exiles, etc. The caption influences how we see the photograph in important ways. With the photograph alone we see a desert, traversed by a vehicle. We may find it majestic or grand, but with the caption we attribute the desert with noble qualities. We see prophets, hermits, pilgrims, exiles go through it. We see it not only as a place but as an escape, a holy place, a resting place, a refuge for the weary or lost. It almost takes on a motherly or nurturing quality as we see that many types of people go through it and to it seeking something missing in their lives. The caption contains the photograph so that we donâ€™t see it as something perhaps evil or perilsome. The caption draws our attention to its benefits, not to its cold nights or hot days, the men who have died from its inability to sustain life. This caption, even though taken out of context, shows McCandlessâ€™ love of the wilderness and his obsession with it as we see throughout the book. We are introduced to the activities of those he idolizes, those who do venture into the wild.
d. â€¦an unshared happiness is not happiness. P. 189
This photo shows a person in a field alone. I thought this quote was ironically appropriate because we see here someone who looks content in the wilderness alone, someone who is not sharing anything with anyone but their own self.
In the second set, the photograph is of a person standing on a rock in a field alone. He seems content with where he is. The caption is an ironic reading of the photo because we see that unshared happiness is not happiness at all, yet this guy alone in the wilderness seems happy, he seems to be standing majestically, with his hands on his hips, like he has discovered the place he is in or is triumphant about something. It is also an ironic caption because it seems contrary to what Chris McCandless would say. McCandless found the greatest happiness alone in the wilderness. By seeing this caption, we might read the person standing alone as unhappy with his state. The caption may make us ignore how the person is standing or how that person may feel and we may be swayed by the caption to presume to know how this person is feeling. Taking this quote out of context can be dangerous because it seems to be the opposite of the message Krakauer is trying to convey by telling McCandlessâ€™ story. Krakauer wants to show us an idealistic young man with high hopes and dreams of a content wilderness existence, a solitary existence, and this quote seems to show the opposite message.
â€œâ€¦I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and the star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by citiesâ€¦â€ P. 88
This photograph is a picture of a group of trees in a forest. Here I wanted to show â€œthe unknownâ€ the forest, the greatest unknown there seems to be. Here we see how deep we are, all we see are trees.
The third photo was meant to capture â€œthe deep peace of the wildâ€ posited by the caption, as well as the idea of the unknown, going into the forest to the wild unknown. This is a peaceful and joyous picture, which contrasts with the â€œdiscontent bred by citiesâ€. I think this picture strengthens the message of the caption because of certain elements. We see light coming through the trees, which to me represents happiness or joy, natural light of the wild. We also see a thicket of trees, which represents the mystery or unknown of the wild. The picture is also peaceful, trees and sky standing tall. Like we saw in the recitation, we could see this picture as scary, the unknown aspect of the wild as being a scary aspect of it like we see in the Blair Witch Project.
â€˜We have in America â€œThe Big Two-Hearted Riverâ€ tradition: taking your wounds to the wilderness for a cure, a conversion, a rest, or whatever. And as in the Hemingway story, if your wounds arenâ€™t too bad, it works. But this isnâ€™t Michigan (or Faulknerâ€™s big woods in Mississippi, for that matter). This is Alaska.â€™ P. 70
I think this quote adds an ironic reading to this picture because here we see the Alaskan wilderness and a river. I find it ironic because we see that McCandless was looking for something in Alaska like he found in works of fiction that he read. Yet the works of fiction he read were for one fiction, and secondly, about places that served up a less harsh version of wilderness than Alaska. McCandless really didnâ€™t come prepared for what he was facing, in the mind and body. So here we see what McCandless faced, the Alaskan wilderness, something he was not prepared for.
The fourth photograph is a picture of an Alaskan landscape. Water, mountains, trees. We see Alaska in all its wilderness. The caption I chose is an ironic reading of the photo that is grounded in the text and McCandlessâ€™ intentions with his journey to Alaska. We see in this caption that McCandlessâ€™ idols were people who were talking about Michigan or Mississippi wilderness, not Alaska. He read their works maybe expecting to find the same sort of experience they found, but chooses the wrong place, he chooses the harshest wilderness he can find that in the end doesnâ€™t offer him a solace or rest or conversion, but lonely, painful death. He sees the Alaskan wilderness through the eyes of an idealist, through the eyes of someone who doesnâ€™t know what is really in store for him. Someone who possibly thinks that the wilderness in the books he read was the same as the Alaskan wilderness, and ends up getting more than he bargained for.