Chris Mccandless Symbolism In Into The Wild

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“Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road.” (Into the Wild 179). 1992 Chris McCandless carved lyrics from his favorite Roger Miller song into a rusty abandoned bus on the Alaskan stampede trail. The Fairbanks city bus 142 was old, dirty, and isolated but it embodies McCandless and symbolizes a life lived free of society’s restrictions. The “Magic Bus” is a prevailing symbol of Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. Chris McCandless stumbled upon the bus and used it as his home after separating himself from society. Many travellers used it in similar ways, although most others stayed for shorter periods of time. “Pink bunches of fireweed choke…show more content…
As long as he was away from social pressures and obligations he was free to be himself, to be Alex Supertram the unknown wanderer of the wild. Before leaving onto the stampede trail he sent a postcard to Wayne Westerberg, “If this adventure proves fatal and you don’t ever hear from me again I want you to know you’re a great man. I now walk into the wild. Alex” (Into the Wild 3). McCandless knew the chances of never leaving the alaskan wilderness but was ready to take the chances. He was at peace with the idea of being forgotten and in a way strived for it. The bus embodied him, both intriguing and valuable but forgotten. Although it symbolizes freedom and isolation, the bus also reveals that even the most independent people such as McCandless need human connection in their lives. Along the trip he brought several books with him, many of which were found inside the bus with different paragraphs highlighted and margins written in. Not only were these books a way for McCandless to entertain himself, but also a way to feel connected. Bus 142 has different names engraved to it and personal belongings left behind, it’s all symbolic of the crave of interaction that draws people back into
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