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Analysis Of Chris Mccandless In Into The Wild, By Jon Krakauer

752 Words4 Pages

The spiritual traveler is truly a unique breed, someone willing to sacrifice all they have to achieve what they believe to be a greater calling in life. Reaching a greater purpose or calling is no simple task though, for the hardships the spiritual traveler encounters have to ultimately will them to continue to follow the dreams. Chris McCandless, a young man found dead in the Alaskan wilderness, was damned as a lunatic by skeptics alike. The vast majority of the media were unable to wrap their heads around why McCandless would mosey off into the brutal wild unprepared, inexperienced and alone. Determined to not let the negative media have the last say about McCandless' legacy though, Jon Krakauer as a follow up to his article on the young …show more content…

The product of Krakauer's research, Into the Wild, represents who McCandless was until his very last breath: a spiritual traveler at heart.
It is made apparent from the beginning that McCandless was born into a well-off family, one able to provide him with promising academic opportunities. McCandless attended university and was set to peruse further education at law school with twenty-four thousand dollars to his name. It seemed that the near future was not only planned, but followed a plan that his parents approved of. So why would McCandless drop his life so suddenly, donating all his money, abandoning from his family, dismissing possible valid career options? The unique beliefs that young McCandless had adored did not correlate with the adult lifestyle he was settling into. If McCandless continued on …show more content…

Differing from the many people like him whose choice to venture into the wilderness ultimately signed their own death certificate, McCandless seemed to be at ease as he passed away, Krakauer describing McCandless's deceased expression as "smiling in the picture... at peace, serene as a monk gone to God" (199). The stark contrast between his terrible death and the smile he forever wears is representative of regardless what he had gone through and how his time in the wild ended, he obtained what he had set out for originally—the authentic experience of living amongst nature. The statement of McCandless being monk-like traces to earlier in the story where Krakauer discusses McCandless' kindred spirits, one of them oddly enough being a group of monks known as the papar. The papar, like McCandless, moved away from their homeland in search of spiritual renewal from their new, isolated, natural surroundings. Obviously due to a more positive societal connotation, the monks were not as frowned upon as McCandless was for his journey, and Krakauer draws attention to this slight hypocrisy. As he speaks of the monks' courage and innocent desire for a new spiritual beginning, he says "reading of these monks, one can't help thinking of... Chris McCandless", for McCandless

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