Analysis Of Chris Mccandless Journey Into The Wild

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Throughout the story of Chris Mccandless, the author Jon Krakauer is able to illustrate many fundamental life lessons through showing Mccandless’ journey into the wild as well as his abrupt separation from society. The purpose behind telling the story of Chris Mccandless is to show how his journey into the wild was caused by the controlling nature of his parents. Due to this Mccandless adopted a unpredictable lifestyle, bouncing from town to town searching for the freedom that he was always denied as a child. This everlasting desire for individuality is also what would lead to Chris’ death on the Stampede Trail.

The lack of freedom and personal choice that Mccandless felt from his parents began at a young age. Chris was raised among 7 other
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He wasn’t antisocial-he always had friends, and everybody liked him-but he could go off and entertain himself for hours. He didn’t seem to need toys or friends. He could be alone without being lonely” - Pg.107,Carine.

This longing for individuality and freedom that Carine documents was never fulfilled when Chris was a child.This explains why he felt such pure happiness when he was free from his parents even if he did lack certain material qualities and at times was not able to feed himself, the risk involved was far outweighed by his feelings of self purpose.

After his graduation from Emory, Chris’ parents expected him to attend law school. Even after at times showing interest in pursuing law school during his first year at Emory, Chris would end up donating his college fund in full to charity. This same indecisiveness about his role in society is also seen in chapter five when Alex is staying in Bullhead City. There he decides to get a job at McDonald’s giving his real name, social security number and even opening a savings account. While on the surface, this looked like an obvious attempt to steady his life and re-enter common society. He explained his current state of mind in a letter to Wayne
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His parents had thrown him party as they were very proud of their son at the time. His parents then also offered to buy him a brand new car. Chris drove an old yellow Datsun, A car most teenagers wouldn’t want anything to do with but to Chris he would have it no other way. On top of his love for his car Chris felt strongly about self-entitlement and working for what you have, because of this he saw the gift of a new car as his parents way of trying to buy his freedom and condescend him.
“-a car that I am strongly attached to-yet they ignore what I say and think I’d actually accept a new car from them! I’m going to have to be real careful not to accept any gifts from them in the future because they will think they have bought my respect.” -Pg.21. Letter to Carine
These hairline triggers would in the end be what pushed Chris Mccandless over the edge. A boy who showed promise to live a great and successful life yet was always just a little different than the people around him. As terrible as it must be to lose a son the way they did, the Mccandless’ know that their behaviors and actions throughout Chris’ childhood is what would lead to the tragic end to a boy with a kind heart, a strong work ethic and just wanted to be a little different
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