“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed
Answer all questions on your own, in your own original phrasing. Use complete sentences, specific examples and, where needed, page numbers.
- Briefly describe the saga of Strayed’s boots.
- What meal does Strayed order most often on her pit-stops in civilization?
- What is the significance of Strayed’s relationship with Paul? With Leif? Summarize/paraphrase at least one scene with EACH of these men and explain its overall significance to the memoir.
- Who is Greg and what significance does he have to Strayed’s journey?
- What does Strayed define as “the hardest thing” she has ever done? Why is this?
- Explain how the narrator comes into her name.
- After Albert helps Strayed unpack her bag, she returns to find the condoms she’d packed initially to be missing. Explain why this warrants mentioning.
- Briefly explain these three items in Strayed’s usage of them, both in terms of their function and how long she has them: dromedary bag, ski pole, and ice axe.
- Explain the importance of James Michener (author of the book titled The Novel) in Strayed’s understanding of her education.
- Who is Lady? What is the significance of her role? Her life?
- Riff on the motif of the fox. Discuss it from your point of view as a reader and as a writer. Overlaps allowed but distinctions are required.
- Strayed ruminates on having her natal chart read by an astrologer whom senses that her father did not properly raise her for life’s challenges. This triggers a flashback that is abruptly followed by unpacking the history of the PCT. Explain the significance of the specifics of the flashback that Strayed has about her father. Then, explain the technical significance of the whiplash-quick shift to more informational writing in the following chapter—in other words, what is Strayed doing as a writer with the contrast between these two sections?
- Do your best to explain the last sentence in the book.
How wild it was, to let it be.
- What is one craft (technical) strength of this memoir that you would like to borrow in your own work? How might you do this and why is it/might it be effective?