Learning check

1. Fill in the missing words

No study aids.

adventurous – helter-skelter - conditioned – secure – accustomed - unhappy – conservatism – change - monotonous – security

So many people live within ______________________________________________ circumstances and


yet will not take the initiative to ____________________________________________________ their


situation because they are ______________________________________________ to a life of


__________________________________________________, conformity and


________________________________________________________, all of which may appear to


give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the




 within a man than a ________________________________________________________ future.[…]


If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for




 security and adopt a ____________________________________________________ style of life that


will at first appear  to you to be crazy. But once you become


__________________________________________________ to such a life you will see its full meaning


and its incredible beauty.


Text-related assignments

1. Written assignment: letter

Imagine that you received a letter like this. Write your answer. Use about 250 words.



Text-related assignments

2. Written assignment: essay

a) Write an essay about the quest for excitement in modern society. Include the following quotation and elements from Alex’s letter in your essay. Use about 700 words.
Puchan (2004) states, from a contemporary sport-sociological point of view, that ”The emergence of extreme sports, however, is not isolated from other societal developments, but can be seen as symbolic of postmodern society where people are searching for new ways to explore their limits and escape boredom and mediocrity.”


b) Write an essay about choosing to have a gap year in which you go travelling. Where would you like to go? Why? What would it take for you to get there? You should consider money, equipment, friend(s) to travel with, planning … What would you hope or expect to get out your travels? (Use about 700 words)


Wider contexts

1. Literary context: Other media: the film Into the Wild, quotations

Working individually, read 10 of the quotations from the film Into the Wild at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758758/quotes and choose your favourite one. Write it on a card. Walk around the room and when you meet another student, read your quotation and listen to his/hers. Explain why you chose your quotation, swap cards and move on. Stop when you have talked to six other students.  

Wider contexts

2. Literary context: Other media: the film Into the Wild, trailer

Watch one of the trailers to the film Into the Wild on YouTube. You may find the following link useful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=taFaFEuwHLQ. Does it add to your understanding of the letter? If yes, how? If no, why?  

Wider contexts

3. Literary context: Other media: the film Into the Wild, the whole film

Watch the film and analyse it. (See Toolbox p. 332). Focus on Alex’s background, his reasons for going into the wild, and discuss why he fails.


Wider contexts

4. Literary context: other period: compare view on nature

Compare Alex’s view on nature with the views expressed in other texts in this section, e.g. William Wordsworth’s “The Tables Turned” (p. 204).