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Wild Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Wild


"Wild" is the true story of Cheryl Strayed's journey to find real self amidst her troubled life by hiking alone across the rigorous Pacific Coast Trail. Cheryl Strayed is a 26-year-old woman who is newly divorced and has recently lost her mother to cancer. She decides to set out on an 1100-mile hike of the Pacific Coast Trail (PCT) to reflect upon her life and try to become whole again. Chery's father disappeared from her life when she was six years old and her kind stepfather, Eddie, also slowly disappears once her mother has died. Her siblings also scatter, leaving her very much alone in the world. She packs an extraordinarily heavy backpack (nicknamed "Monster") and sets off, picking up the trail in Mojave, California. Through writing her name in the trail book, she can see who else is on the trail, and they can keep up with her. She is put through many difficult ordeals, such as coming face to face with a Texas longhorn bull and multiple rattlesnakes. Her feet become covered with sores and blisters and by the end, she has lost 6 toenails. She meets some generous, nice people along the way, who help her with food and with their company, though she mostly wishes to do the hike alone so she can think over her life and what's next. One of the first persons she meets is a guy named Greg, who gives her a lucky feather, which lasts her through her journey. Other people give her rides when she veers off the trail. She only meets two people who are not very nice, one of whom nearly tries to molest her on the lonely trail. She loses one of her boots down a cliff and has to walk for miles in her sandals, until she can get the boots replaced. She finally makes it into Oregon to the Bridge of the Gods, her ultimate end of the journey. At journey's end, she has forgiven her mother for any faults and mistakes she had made bringin up Cheryl and her siblings and she has let go of all of the pain from her life, ready to begin anew.
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Best part of story, including ending: I liked that the story of her on the actual trail is interspersed with her thoughts about things that have happened in her life, most of which are negative things she has had to deal with.

Best scene in story: My favorite scene was when, at the Bridge of the Gods, she meets up once again with Greg, the first person she'd met on the trail because it's sentimental and lets her journey come full circle.

Opinion about the main character: One thing I didn't like about Cheryl was her seemingly lack of knowlege of how far money would go. She is always broke, even though she has sent herself money at every stopover along the way.

The review of this Book prepared by Pam Pieroni a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Chapter Analysis of Wild

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Plot & Themes

Outdoors story    -   Yes Exploring:    -   surviving in outdoors Period of greatest activity?    -   1900+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Pacific NW Century:    -   1980's-Present

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   in awe Graphic sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   impregnation/reproduction Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None How much dialogue in bio?    -   significantly more descript than dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

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Cheryl Strayed Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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