After reading Krakauer’s Into the Wild and Henry David Thoreau’s exerts from Walden, we can see a deep connection between Christopher McCandless and Thoreau’s transcendental beliefs. Both Chris McCandless and Thoreau show transcendentalism in their actions of self-wisdom, differences, and liberation. Chris McCandless life choices in Into the wild reflect the transcendental beliefs of Thoreau’s Walden. The first transcendental belief of McCandless is that he marches to the beat of a different drummer.
Having been said McCandless related to “I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear…” (Thoreau 4-5). McCandless wanted to live a life that counted not one that was a disappointment. He had dreams that he wanted to accomplish. During his journey he searched deep for what was living.
The transcendental movement, which reached the height of its popularity in the 1830’s and 1840’s, inspired many people to live essentially, without unnecessary material possessions, and to practice civil disobedience by breaking laws that one feels are unjust. Chris McCandless, Alexander Supertramp, is one of the most well known people in recent history inspired by transcendentalism because he, just like Henry David Thoreau, took the ideas of Ralph Waldo Emerson and put them into action. When Chris fully applies the principles of transcendentalism, he enhances his life by giving him the opportunity to stop pretending to be someone that he is not and pursue a more authentic Chris McCandless. Chris McCandless grew up in a wealthy family and received
Matthew Power in The Cult of Chris McCandless points out the "enigma of Chris McCandless" through the themes of "self-invention, risk, and our complex relationship to the natural world while McCandless may have been a visionary man who wished to become one of a higher thinking and knowledge but through the mesh of lies that shield him he is only presented as an "unprepared fool, a greenhorn who had fundamentally misjudged the wilderness he'd wanted so desperately to commune with”. McCandless's hubris was one of the many reasons he did not survive his journey. He was too caught up in the pursuit of a dream that when it came down to acting upon it he was unable to succeed and fell under. There are many ways McCandless could've saved himself and got care and possible survived from his ordeal, one of the more obvious ways was to get up and leave.
There are many different ways to describe and characterize a person, but Chris Mccandless was unique in several ways. Some may say he was a nutcase, an outcast, or even a sociopath, however, I strongly disagree. He was something so much more. Chris Mccandless was a transcendentalist. For people who may not know, transcendentalism is a philosophy which says that thought and spiritual things are more real than ordinary human experience and material things.
He decides to live simply, like Thoreau, not only retreating into nature, but he also living a purer, simpler life. Without money and material goods, he is truly espousing Thoreau’s views, as he decides to not be beholden to anything. McCandless cuts ties with anything reminiscent to society, clearly viewing it unnecessary to live according to societal norms, as he believes - like Thoreau - that this makes the individual lose sight of what life is supposed to be like. Without any money, McCandless finally feels free. To focus on possessions is wrong, according to McCandless’s borrowed views on life.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”- Henry David Thoreau. Transcendentalism is an American philosophy that revolves around self-reliance and independence, commonly in nature, a Transcendentalist wants to find the true meaning in life. I believe that Chris McCandless was a Transcendentalist because he was able to leave his whole life behind and take on a minimalist lifestyle while having a strong relationship with god. However, I believe that I am not a Transcendentalist, but simply an adventurer.
“As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time”( 87). Growing up, McCandless would go in the outdoors with his family and go rock climbing. After his family would be done, Chris would go off on his own even when his father would tell him no. In the song Freedom by Akon, there is a lyric which relates to McCandless
In the 19th and 20th century transcendentalism was a new and exciting topic that caused tremendous controversy. In the novel Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, Chris McCandless was a man with a very unique character. In more detailed words Chris McCandless was a transcendentalist. His actions and moods played a big part in his life, from beginning to end. He was a transcendentalist because of his self-reliance, confidence and non-conformity.
He willingly left the life he had and traveled solo to find him self and inner truth. Chris McCandless was a transcendentalist, influenced by the beliefs and actions of Thoreau and Tolstoy, he utilized the theories of non-conformity, appreciation of nature, and the idea of being non-materialistic as he walked into the wild. Chris’s appreciation for nature grew far deeper than other transcendentalist. He aspired to not only live a simple life but he wanted to see his capability of living solely off the land. Nature played a big role in his life.
Dead Poets Society Transcendentalism is about life in which nature and the soul connect. In the movie Dead Poet Society, one of the characters who shows transcendentalism in Neil Perry. In the movie the students quoted poems and had their alone time with nature. They also relied on themselves and sought the spiritual side of things.
McCandless’s self-reliance is a big part of identifying him as transcendentalist. In the short story, “Death of an Innocent”, Chris says, “I've decided that I'm going to live this life for some time to come. The freedom and simple beauty of it is just too good to pass up.” McCandless feels that life should not be wasted doing what you do not love, and shows this by traveling and living off the land every chance he gets. Transcendentalists take in all of what nature has to give them by becoming one with it; like McCandless does throughout the story.
Hunter Lahrmer Mrs. Gillum English 11 A 21 March 2018 Transcendentalism in Dead Poets Society Believing in power to self, finding truth via nature, valuing feeling over reason, and relying on friends – all of these are characteristics of Transcendentalism, and were apparent in the movie, Dead Poets Society, mostly through its characters. One character who started out non-Transcendental but by the end of the movie, demonstrated Transcendental qualities was a student at Welton, Todd Anderson. Todd Anderson at the beginning of the movie, was a quiet new kid that really didn’t express his mind, but by the end of the movie Todd Anderson acquired many Transcendental qualities, like valuing feeling over reason. It is clear by the end of the movie, Todd has become a true Transcendental character. Todd Anderson went from being non Transcendental to being Transcendental throughout the movie.
Chris went off after he graduated college and “lived off the land”. Chris would travel to the coast of Mexico, the plains of Kansas, and the dunes of Nevada. Chris went on a final expedition to Alaska that cost him everything. In the following paragraphs I will fully detail how Chris was reckless, selfish, and naive. I will also explore how Chris tied his life to the beliefs of transcendentalism.
Transcendentalism is the belief that man is inherently good, is an independent thinker, and goes out into nature to get in touch with himself. Generally, man has good intentions and intends no harm unto others. In addition, man does not need society to give him and develop his thoughts, as he already has them within. To help bring out these already installed beliefs, man has the desire to go out into nature to get in touch with himself and find deeper notions within. In Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings “Self Reliance” and “American Scholar”, he writes about how being a true individual means that one must have his own beliefs, and not copy someone else’s ideas.