Chris Mccandless A Transcendentalist Analysis

663 Words3 Pages

In the short story, “Death of an Innocent” by Jon Krakauer, Chris McCandless travels into the Alaskan wilderness with the intention of relying completely on himself. In the true spirit of transcendentalism, McCandless travels to escape the bounds of society and to remove himself from a materialistic world. Many argue, however, that Chris McCandless was not a transcendentalist because he travels to exotic lands as a means of avoidance, but actually, Chris McCandless is the epitome of a transcendentalist. Transcendentalists, however, rely on themselves and nature to survive and do not depend on material items. Transcendentalists romanticize individualism and believe that intuition is the best guide through life. McCandless shows multiple examples of these transcendentalist traits throughout the story, although there are times where he takes transcendentalism to the extreme. Although Chris McCandless is a transcendentalist, there are aspects of his past that prove otherwise. One example is when he moved into Westerberg’s house for an extended period of time and had all of his mail sent to Westerberg’s …show more content…

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. By relying on himself instead of others, Chris managed to embody one of the most important pillars of transcendentalism; to only focus on what he needs, not on what society tells him is

Open Document