Both Chris McCandless and Ralph Waldo Emerson are against modern society’s way of living and believe one should live their life in a non-conformist lifestyle driven by the awe of nature. Emerson wrote an essay called “Nature”. There he talked about the relationship one should have to God through nature, and was a popular role model of the transcendentalist movement. Emerson was anti-governmental, believing one cannot own nature or the land. He also writes about how he feels welcomed in nature, more so than he does in a village or society, favoring the natural land over the land humans created.
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.
Throughout the course of Jon Krakauer’s Into The Wild the reader can see that time and time again Chris McCandless is unprepared for what lies ahead of him, which is why he is not a noble man, nor should his journey be considered noble. While it is true that McCandless had gone on adventures before, nothing had prepared him for the bitter cold climate and the lack of food he had in Alaska. McCandless was not prepared physically or mentally and he did not bring anywhere near enough supplies for someone planning to spend the summer in the harsh environment of Alaska. While it wasn’t foolish for Chris to go out and try to find happiness for himself, it was foolish of him to have been unprepared to begin a difficult adventure in Alaska. Chris McCandless
Throughout history, great men and women have been willing to die for a cause they believed in. Society often holds these people up as heroes, role models to be celebrated by the following generations. In his novel Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer makes the argument that Chris McCandless deserves to recognized as one of these heroes. Into the Wild tells the story of Chris’s life and ultimately his death in the Alaskan frontier, following him from his disappearance after college graduation to the eventual discovery of his remains two years later. Although Krakauer portrays Chris as a noble young man on an inspirational quest, in reality Chris’s journey reveals an out-of-touch young man who naively followed the ideals of his favorite authors.
Into the Wild Original, is the word many label themselves. “Establishing their own original ideas and doing acts that no one has committed”. But I own one particular opinion being; everyone was designed to be unique but not original. Everyone is different and thinks differently, but inherits their ideas from other people and modifies it to makes it their own. Chris McCandless was definitely a unique individual, imprinting lasting impressions on everyone who come to know him and those who are now reading about him.
Society’s Creation Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that protests culture and society. Toward the end of Chris McCandless’s life he started to show many signs of a transcendentalist. Unlike Thoreau Chris was not in it for his love of nature, but to free himself from a corrupt world and a bitter society. " So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future." (Krakauer p. 57) McCandless and Thoreau both idealized the American wilderness and shared the same thought that living a less materialistic lifestyle would positively affect ones being.
Chris McCandless was troubled but he wasn’t crazy. He was so hurt by his family he was seeking happiness away from people that could hurt him by going into the wild. Eventually, before he died, he realizes he was wrong and that he wants to return to society. Christopher Johnson McCandless was hurt by his family, had a troubled childhood, and looking for happiness away from civilization but before he died in peace realizes he wanted to live with other people again.
At the end of Chapter 3, Krakauer says, “Driving out west of Atlanta, [Chris McCandless] intended to invent an utterly new life for himself... He was now Alexander Supertramp, master of his own destiny” (Krakauer 23). These assertions are believable as McCandless cut off his past by creating a new identity for himself and ceasing communication with his family. McCandless introduced himself as Alex to all of the people he met on his odyssey and he rarely spoke about his past before hitchhiking. McCandless introduced himself as “Just Alex” (Krakauer 4) to Gallien and as Alex when he worked for Wayne Westerberg in Carthage, South Dakota.
What McCandless Has Shown Me Chris McCandless was just a normal college graduate just like any other person but then he decided to go into the wild and go travel to all different areas before he went to Alaska. Chris decided to go to Alaska because in his head that’s where he thought there would be no one from society telling him what to do. He thought he wouldn’t have to follow the rules of society or people telling him what to do. He reached Alaska, but the reality of Alaska was different that the romanticized expectation that he had in his mind. He didn’t bring enough food for himself and all he relied on was eating plants and berries from the wild.
Throughout chapters 8 and 9, the author showed his bias towards Chris McCandless, which is an act of defiance to his position as an objective journalist, when he attempted to alter the readers’ negative point of view towards Chris by the introduction of different people who had similar experiences and characteristics as him and then making comparison. After reading the previous chapters, the readers have already made their own judgement on Chris, which are probably mostly negative. To address this issue, Krakauer initiates chapter 8 by introducing negative comments and mails not only about Chris but also to him, the author. These will serve as an argument that he will later attempt to disprove while at the same time, still informing the readers about what makes Chris special and unique.
Chris McCandless was someone who didn’t believe in having money, and items that were materialistic. He was considered an idealist because he didn’t put judgement on people based on how they look, he did it based on his personal values. In the author’s note Krakauer also believed Chris was a “intense young man and possessed a streak of stubborn idealism that did not mesh readily with modern existence”. After getting your degree in college, and your parents buying you a new car you don’t think to just throw it all away to go live in the wild on your own, but that’s exactly what Chris did. Items that would seem extremely important to everyone one else in society didn’t matter to Chris, because it wasn’t a necessity for him.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is a biography that follows Chris McCandless and his journey through the wilderness while finding himself along the way. Chris McCandless died in the August of 1992 after a four month journey through places like Mexico and Alaska. Krakauer investigates his actions and analyzes his identity after his death, trying to find meaning within his seemingly unnecessary expedition. Chris McCandless constructs his personal identity as a man who wanted to be challenged and inspired by his actions and interests with people he met on the road, and his beliefs and values as a stubborn person. Chris McCandless’s actions are unusual in many ways; for one, he graduates college with honors, but instead of pursuing a career,
In the biography of Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer writes “It’s not always necessary to be strong, but to feel strong.” Christopher McCandless’s journey was one of a courageous and brave young man that went Into the Wild. McCandless chose to abandon the material things that society believes are needed to survive and even though his dream was viewed as unrealistic, McCandless followed it. “I'm going to paraphrase Thoreau here... rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness... give me truth. “ A quote Chris McCandless wrote in his journal.
Going out into the wild all by yourself can be nerve wracking and lonely. Jon Krakauer makes Chris McCandless seemed like a noble person who took the initiative to try to go out and live into the wild. The book Into the Wild written by Jon Krakauer, is about a teenager named Chris McCandless leaving society and traveling to Alaska by himself with nothing else but a bag of rice and a small .22 caliber gun. Chris is heroic because he went to Alaska by himself without any knowledge of Alaska and didn’t know any of the dangers of Alaska. One way Krakauer make Chris seem noble is when Chris is about to enter Alaska he tells Gallien “ I’m goin’ to get on up there live off the land,go claim me a piece of the good life” (Krakauer 4).