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. He urged adults to see the world through the way a child would adore it, in a purer loving way. This goes against many Americans’ viewpoints on life, then and even now. He also mentions that he believes nature is a kind force to everyone, and is never cruel. On the other hand, Chris McCandless’s life is documented by the book Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. Within the book, Chris’s past is documented by his inability to conform. He was expected to go to college, but after his experience freshman year summer travel, he
McCandless values education and is an intelligent man who graduates Emory University with a degree in a grueling major (Krakauer 20). He never contributes much effort into school since the work was easy for him, unlike his colleagues. This makes him extremely confident in all his abilities and is never faced with any problems. The absence of conflict affects him and provides a belief that to find his individuality and identity, he should find something to test his life skills. McCandless is also able to gain traits of being stubborn. His persistence carries him through his journey into the wild, but also gives him trouble in later life when he gets a job at McDonald’s but leaves because they want him to wear socks while working (Krakauer 39-41). However, although McCandless has a few good morals, he lacks the belief of valuing family. This is evident when he states that, “I’m going to completely knock [my parents] out of my life… and never speak to either of those idiots again as long as I live” (Krakauer 64). McCandless’s beliefs give him a platform for his identity as a stubborn person that is hungry for something challenging, but also provides him with hardships and trouble along the
In the book “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer, Chris McCandless had many decisions to leave his old life behind and start over. Chris’ decision to leave was justified for the following reasons. When he suddenly disappeared, it made it easier for him to let go of his past and focus on what he wants to do in the future. McCandless could make all his own decisions, nobody had a chance to tell him that he could not leave and certainly did not allow anyone to find out where he was going. Finally he didn’t agree to social norms. Although some might argue that McCandless should have notified his parents that he was going to take this trip, however, if he would’ve told his family they would have gone out of their way to bring him back home. Furthermore Mccandless did tell his parents that he was going on this trip and didn’t find the need to tell them where he was going minute by minute. He was an adult and understood what the consequences were.
Chris McCandless abandoned the modern world and chose the wild because he believed that he could improve himself through living in the wild, and found the true happiness of the life. McCandless abandoned his wealthy family because of his complicated relationship with his father, and he was ashamed with his father’s adultery. Therefore, McCandless believed that human relationship was not the only thing that forms happiness, instead a man’s connection with the nature brings joy as well. He also believed the habitual lifestyle was not what people were meant to do, and people shouldn't have more possessions than what they need. For this reason, McCandless traveled with little effects. In addition, McCandless thought he could found the solution to his frustration with the adultery of his father, and found the true happiness for his life through escaping into the wild.
Chris lived in a way most of us will never get to experience. He lived his life to the fullest, and more importantly he lived the way he wanted to. This alone should be some solace to his family. Really Chris was a nice person who people loved to be around. Just talking to him for a little while would show this. In Into the Wild it says, “ The more they talked, the less Alex struck Gallien as a nutcase” (Krakauer 6). This really shows that Alex, or Chris, was a bright person who, on the outside looked like a strange vagabond was really a well educated person. More important, however, is the fact that Chris had a positive impact on everyone he met. A prime example of this would be another traveler he met named Jan Burres. In the book said, “ We got to talking. He was a nice kid” (Krakauer 22). Jan also said, “ He was a really good kid. We thought the world of him” (Krakauer 23). If Chris could earn the respect and love of people who he had just met, this shows a lot about his character and who he was. However let us not forget the fact of the kind of person he was on the inside. On the inside he was like a raging bull whose anger was focused mainly at his parents.
If he were living normally, he would most likely become bored and depressed. In a letter to his brother, McCandless writes, “I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum of the life that you are forced to lead. I don’t think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depths of live already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax” (Krakauer 87). This means that McCandless would rather live an exciting life and would hate to live a normal one. In addition, in a journal entry, McCandless writes, “It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found. God it’s great to be alive! Thank you. Thank you” (Krakauer 37). This excerpt shows that McCandless sincerely is at peace with himself and the world because of where his ideals have taken him. For this, McCandless should be admired for his views for allowing him to live his best life.
Krakauer wrote Into the Wild with a great deal of respect and privacy in regards to this issue, but years later Carine decided it was time to come clean. Mr. and Mrs. McCandless still claim Krakauer to have written rubbish about their beloved son. Carine commented that she was not surprised by the response because their parents never understood the impact they had on Chris or herself (Holtzclaw). McCandless was about to embark on the unforgettable journey he had waited his entire life for in order to become “King of the Road” but only for the course of two years. “King of the Road” was country singer Roger Miller’s song, published in 1965 that idealized a type of vagabond lifestyle (King of). According to the 20/20 on Chris McCandless this
Chris McCandless may first be described as a rebel and his inclination to abstain from the family he was brought up with. Krakauer says that he 'believed that wealth was shameful, corrupting, and inherently evil '. Despite that, Chris always liked money. Chris was also a very independent person who had a strong relationship with nature. Chris was also the kind of kid to always get good grades, without even trying to. I think Chris McCandless felt unfufilled in his life of privilege, and wanted to go out and experience life how he wanted to for awhile, and live freely. Chris may even still be alive today, had he been more prepared.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the “American dream” as, “the ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative”. The American dream hasn’t evolved since the coining of the idea; the dream is still to have a steady job, a nice house, and a pleasant family. However, that dream does not appeal to everyone. Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild looks back upon the incredible journey of Chris McCandless. The story of a well-to-do young man who after graduating from a high-ranking university, donates all of savings to charity, burns the cash in his wallet, abandons all of his material possessions, and cuts ties with all of his family and friends to embark on his own personal odesseye in nature to carry out an adventure living in
Chris McCandless was in his early 20’s, he was the kind of that guy that wanted to learn and experience life without all of the material things. He wanted to be independent from his parents and friends so Chris did something that would be insane for most of us humans but to him, it wasn’t. He went into the wild of Alaska for months, in fact, McCandless even thought he could make it out alive at the end of his journey. As a matter of fact, he was known as being a risk taker and enjoyed being out and about in the nature side of the world. Many would believe that Chris McCandless went into the wild to purposely kill himself; however, I myself believe that McCandless did not do it purposely.
Mythological or Archetypal philosophy has been around for centuries and is used across numerous cultures. Carl Jung, a close colleague of Sigmund Freud, defined the word archetype as “a figure...that repeats itself in the course of history wherever creative fantasy is fully manifested.” Archetypes can come in various forms: characters, images, and situations. Though many different forms of archetypes appear in the tale of Beowulf, specifically, the archetypal character roles of the hero and the outcast are major aspects of the story.
I am in agreement with Krakauer on the fact that Chris McCandless was not a sociopath
It was 1965 and Evel Knievel had just landed a 90-foot crate filled with 50 rattlesnakes and 2 lions. Although this jump was one of his stunts that left him unharmed other than a sprained ankle, it put others at risk. During his landing, the back tire of his motorcycle had hit the edge of box and allowed some of the snakes to escape. The audience that was watching Knievel’s stunt were terrified and had to run away in order to avoid the snakes. Despite knowing the risks of this stunt, he continued with it anyway. Similar to McCandless, Knievel was being reckless, which had affected others around him. McCandless had left his family to travel to Alaska and live in the wild in search of enlightenment. After his death, word about his journey spread around the country. Many viewed McCandless to be egotistical due to the fact that he left his entire life to pursue his personal desires, and he didn’t think about how others would feel after he left, or if he did, he didn’t care. McCandless was also seen as ignorant. He was not only careless with the feelings of others, but also with his well being. He didn’t seem to know what would be awaiting him in the wild because he
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)
Different people have different goals. Everyone wants to achieve something, whether it’s becoming a surgeon or graduating high school. In the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, for Chris McCandless it was out of the ordinary. McCandless wanted to go out into the wild alone with nothing besides a few general needs. Some of those needs consisted of a journal, a camera, a large bag of rice, a small cooking utensil, matches, a knife, and some fishing twine with a hook. Most people would think that’s a suicide wish to just go out in the wild, others just thinking it was crazy and wondering who his parents are. Then there are people that find him as an inspiration for going after his goal. McCandless thought it was finally a chance to go on his own and see what’s out in the world. People think that since McCandless died out in the wilderness , he didn’t accomplish his goal. McCandless on the other hand felt the complete opposite. He achieved his goal of seeing parts of Alaska that most people would dream of doing but wouldn’t actually conquer it because they are too scared of what might be out there.