Epigraphs offer a place for the reader to interpret the text of the author and correlate it to society. The more than twenty epigraphs address themes such as the attainment of happiness through the serene calming effect found in the solitude of nature, the materialistic selfishness of man, and the ways in which society sets prescribed expectations. What might you do? First, I would like my students to learn and apply in life the lesson that a single perspective is not always adequate for arriving at conclusions. Krakauer summarizes a response to his article in Outside Magazine by saying, “The prevailing Alaska wisdom held that McCandless was simply one more dreamy halfcocked greenhorn who went into the country expecting to find answers to all his problems and instead found only mosquitos and a lonely death” In later chapters of the text Krakauer shares details of his own climbing adventure in Alaska. When their annotations are complete, they will be asked to discuss their findings with a partner, and then share with the whole class.

Considering these questions and Krakauer’s statement, write. Have a suggestion to improve this page? McCandless is the controversial character of my chosen unit who, through his experiences and knowledge, created his own path. How can readers build interpretations of this quote without first analyzing elements such as subject or tone? Krakauer’s Into the Wild is also interesting and useful in that its epigraphs can be interpreted on different levels e. Does this quote reflect Krakauer’s own views about the relationship between children and their parents? My curriculum unit brings together higher order thinking skills through the analysis of author or narrator reliability, the evaluation of evidence, and in particular the dissection of epigraphs, all of which lead to student interpretations.

With this strategy, students will engage in Pre-Reading and During Reading activities that: 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.


My students failed to realize, largely owing to my not having laid enough emphasis on the epigraphs, that “the epigraph may illuminate a text, and is itself designed to form an integral part of the effect of the poem.

Every student will be a critical thinker. Laurence Perrine states that there exists a level of truth when determining meaning and that logical patterns are found within the diction of the text. How can readers build interpretations of this quote without first analyzing elements such as subject or tone? The small group discussion always leads to a whole class discussion so that the entire class can hear how others’ perceptions differed or compared with that of their own.

Epigraph-allacy: Using Epigraphs to Elicit Student Interpretations

Support your conclusions with evidence from your notes and your reading of the text. This was the foremost issue that prevented the students from establishing a solid perception of the narrator and main character.

At this point in the text, Krakauer transitions to his own experiences. Why would you do it, and for how long could you see yourself doing that activity?

It draws students from the affluent foothills of East Side San Jose as well as students from the low-income apartments and working class neighborhoods.

The students in our community, mostly from low income, limited English, immigrant families, are taught by their parents that they must take advantage of their educational opportunities by performing well in high school, then attending college, and ultimately landing a well paying job that would provide them all the necessities of a “good life.

erwc into the wild essay prompt

Have a suggestion to improve this page? Who is the we referring to? As teachers, we create opportunities that aim at both experiential and participatory learning. These epigraphs serve as the building of background information from one context while connecting to another.

This is precisely my reason for focusing on the epigraphs for this unit. What is McCandless talking about? The context of diction limits the meaning, which leads to a correct interpretation. Krakauer inserts an excerpt from Theodore Roszak’s “In Search of the Miraculous” in the eighth chapter of the text: The students’ interpretations are what wiild as the bridge.


McCandless’s impact on the characters Column 4: As the century wore on, the epigraph spread to the novel. Literature provides a living through, not simply knowledge about.

Epigraph-allacy: Using Epigraphs to Elicit Student Interpretations

In this way, epigraphs allowed an author to rightly place and justify their work as a piece of the ever-growing literary conversation. Regardless of the different perceptions students may have of him, McCandless maintained “truth” as his life’s mantra. This activity will require the use of a computer lab as students will go online to the Christopher McCandless website to access the four letters by McCandless’s siblings.

It is a common enough experience for a person to say that on their second reading he noticed things he had missed when he read the book for the first time. Are McCandless’s siblings more credible or reliable than Krakauer?

Inthe introduction to her new compendium on “the art of the epigraph,” Rosemary Ahern notes that she is always surprised when someone claims not to read epigraphs: Do you think this is true? Students should be able to come to the understanding that some of the epigraphs correspond to the text, while other epigraphs [do not fully corroborate it], thus highlighting the subjectivity of the narrator. There has been a steady decrease in the Caucasian population and an increase in the Vietnamese and Filipino populations; esaay Hispanic population has remained stable.

Inot discussion gives every student an opportunity to speak and listen to someone else’s views.

erwc into the wild essay prompt