Popular Culture Review 29.1 (Spring 2018) - Page 20

(115) What he fails to mention, however, is that the moose debacle is followed by seven empty entries – the first to appear on the log – which seems to indicate that McCandless was already losing enthusiasm in his great Alaskan adventure and perhaps also skipping meals. The following entries do not indicate any game of any sort, and seventeen days after having shot and wasted the moose, McCandless sets out to return to civilization, with the failed result that we know. A close-reading of his log tends to indicate that the moose disaster is not just a simple setback, but a decisive sobering blow of reality, which leads to his attempted escape about two weeks later. It appears that McCandless was much less in control of the phenomena that surrounded him than Krakauer would have us believe in order to portray a brave and resolute young man rather than a grown-up child who just got lost in the woods. Krakauer’s treatment of the story betrays a deep identification with his subject, as he turns a marginal, quite incoherent young man