Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A07. Into to the Wild: Escape or Transcendence?

Most Americans pursue “unfiltered experience.” “A yearning for elsewhere, for a life beyond the one we’re leading,” suggests Jonathan Raban, “is universal [but] in the national mythology, it’s the quintessential American experience to arrive in a wild and inhospitable place, bend raw nature to one’s own advantage, and make it home.” We will read and see films based upon Into the Wild and “Brokeback Mountain” as well as the film, “Grizzly Man,” and such novels as The Kite Runner, The Book of Jonah, In the Lake of the Woods, Point Omega, Jazz, and others. Classes involve lots of discussion, a few papers, and no exams.

Samuel CoaleSamuel Coale
Professor of English