A common theme in both Into the Wild and Everything is Illuminated is an archetype of this Eden a final destination of journey. For “Alex,” it was his Alaska, for Alex, Jonathan, and Alex’s Grandfather it was Trachimbrod. An Eden in literature is a final destination or state that a character, or set of characters in the case of Everything is Illuminated, strives to achieve or find. Both books have the characters searching for their Eden’s for their own personal reasons. “Alex” takes on his journey to get to his Eden for himself and his constant goal is to make it to his Alaska, his final adventure.
Despite all the people he has met and all the amazing things he had done and all the memories he made in his mind he was only set on his Alaska. Ironically, for “Alex” his final Eden was also his final resting place and he was not able to get passed his Alaska. For the group in Everything is Illuminated, they are searching for Trachimbrod as their Eden for their Journey. The idea of an Eden is a very common archetype in literature throughout decades and decades of writing.
An Eden can also be a person or a state of being that the main characters are searching for but in both these works the archetype forms as a physical location that the characters are searching for. Socio-political In both books, there seems to be a topic of written word and the effect of it on people as a huge theme throughout the novels. For Into the Wild, “Alex” is constantly referencing different novelists that he relates too as a source of inspiration and motivation but more importantly, “Alex” seemed to use these works of written word as almost a sense of security and closeness to the authors in desperate times of loneliness.
Everything is Illuminated also holds a sense of bond through written word with how a portion of the book is written as a letter from Alex to Jonathan. In society, the actions of written words and novels creates a closeness and bonds that spoken word or just everyday conversations seem to lack. There is a stronger sense of permanence to written word that gives off a bond from reader to writer that other forms of conversation can not accomplish.
In society, it’s easier for a reader to bond with a writer through their words because of how they can take the time to contemplate and try to understand what the author was trying to mean. In Into the Wild, after “Alex’s” death his books were found written all over and highlighted and all his feelings even his last dying thoughts were poured into these books. He obviously felt a bond with these authors in his months of isolation in Alaska, an even stronger bond then than at any other time.
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