Rhetorical devices

Allusion

One of the most important rhetorical devices in Christopher McCandless’ as published in Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild is the allusion to the ancient Greek epic poem “The Odyssey” by Homer. In this poem, the main character Odysseus is travelling home from the Trojan War and undergoes many adventures along the way. The word 'odyssey' is therefore often used to describe a long and adventurous journey. When McCandless writes to Ron about his future plan to go hiking through the Alaskan wilderness, he refers to his “Alaskan Odyssey” (p. 208, l. 16). This allusion suggests that McCandless sees himself as a hero who must go through a quest to reach his goal.

The letter also contains a reference to the “Alaskan Deal” (p. 208, l. 22), which might be an allusion to the New Deal from 1933. The New Deal, enacted by...

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