TL1 Literature 2018-19

Tuesday, January 15th

Thursday, December 20th

Chris and Transcendentalism

Chris McCandless considered himself a student of Henry David Thoreau, an important advocate of Transcendentalism. Thoreau promoted the opinion that Man is meant to live in harmony with nature, being self-sufficient, and rejecting the excess of material wealth and societal pressure. Reading Thoreau along with similar writings by Tolstoy and Jack London, Chris created a personal philosophy similar to Transcendentalism, professing a need to live in the wild and discover inner meanings and strengths based entirely on his own experiences and abilities.

“Deliberate Living: Conscious attention to the basics of life, and a constant attention to your immediate environment and its concerns. Examples: A job, a task, a book; anything requiring efficient concentration (Circumstance has no value. It is how one relates to a situation that has value. All true meaning resides in the personal relationship to a phenomenon, what it means to you).(Into The Wild, p115)

Chris attempted to live as his literary heroes did, with few possessions and only the kindness of strangers and his own work ethic for support. He spoke of the corruption of society and the way that greed dictates morality and personal entitlements. At the end, Chris believed himself to have discovered something true about himself; although he did not describe it, the famous quote from Tolstoy (“I have lived through much, and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness”) seemed to have been important to him. Chris was a modern Transcendentalist in most respects; he only lacked an experienced mentor to guide his decisions.

Thursday, December 13th

Read the other documents from the list (see November 29th)

Thursday, November 29th

This is a list of documents which gives you some background to build a commentary about the extract of Into The Wild we are currently working on. In today’s lesson choose one.

I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain’d, I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,

They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things, Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago, Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth.
So they show their relations to me and I accept them,
They bring me tokens of myself, they evince them plainly in their possession. I wonder where they get those tokens,
Did I pass that way huge times ago and negligently drop them?

Extract from Song of Myself by Walt Whitman – 1855

Tuesday, November 13th

Thursday, November 8th

Into The Wild – author’s note & chapter 1

Holiday Homework

Reading list :

1.  Into The Wild (The book) on Wikipedia

2.  a map of Chris travels

3.  Into The Wild – author’s note & chapter 1

(and for those who may want to go further the whole book: Into The Wild or here in French in the Epub format, there are some free apps for phones or extensions for web browsers on computers to read this format)

Self-portrait of Christopher  McCandless with the Magic Bus found undeveloped in his camera after his death.

Thursday,  October 18th

Into The Wild (the factsheet about the film) on

Thursday, October 4th &  Thursday, October 11th

Pair-work: re-write the story using Morag’s point of view, and write it in the first person (350 words +/-10%)

  • put yourself in her shoes an visualize the landscape (see photos) and the scene (the four Vikings coming ashore)
  • collect vocabulary and information in the short-story which you are going to recycle in your own version
  • try to type the final version and email it to me

Thursday, September 27th

Reading Tartan, a short-story by George Mackay Brown.

don’t hesitate to use to get some help.

Thursday, September 20th

Reading Tartan, a short-story by George Mackay Brown.

don’t hesitate to use to get some help.

Thursday, September 13th

Reading Tartan, a short-story by George Mackay Brown.

Thursday, September 6th

Reading Tartan, a short-story by George Mackay Brown.

Visualizing the scene by drawing elements. The scene takes place in the north of Scotland, near Durness and it looks like this when the weather is good!