Chris Mccandless Downfall

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In April, 1992 a young man named Chris McCandless walked into the Alaskan bush never to be seen or heard from again. He entered the bush with minimal supplies- a firearm, ammunition, a ten pound bag of rice, a small library, and a few other basic survival items- and confidence in his abilities to survive (Krakauer, 162). Four months later, six hunters found the remains of his decomposing body inside an abandoned bus amidst the thick vegetation of the Alaskan wilderness (Krakauer, 13) . Upon hearing Chris’ story locals and critics promptly labeled him as an “ill-prepared kook”, but were they right? If his critics were correct, then McCandless would not have survived quite as long as he did in complete solitude. Chris McCandless may have seemed unprepared and crazy, but he was in fact completely sane and capable of surviving in the Alaskan bush. This, however, did not sway critics on their opinion of McCandless and his actions. Chris was labeled as mentally disturbed and his death was deemed foolish and pointless (Krakauer, 70, 71). People who read the boy’s story thought his death could have been prevented if he had been more prepared, or just prepared in general. Many of Chris’ critics were Alaskans who were utterly appalled by…show more content…
Since there had been no previous documentation of the potato seeds being poisonous, it was assumed that McCandless had been consuming the poisonous seeds of H. mackenzii, the sweet pea (Krakauer, 192). This, however, was entirely untrue. Chris had in fact ingested the seeds of Hedysarum alpinum and the seeds themselves were not his killer. Upon further research it was determined that a mold, R. leguminicola, growing on the potato seeds was the cause of Chris McCandless’ eradication, not his ill preparedness (Krakauer, 194). The mold prevented Chris’ body from processing food into
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