Life on the road is an idealistic way to escape from societal problems. There is no denying that it grants individuals satisfaction by allowing them to fulfill their goals, as well as providing immense freedom and control over one’s life; however, it is a fundamentally illogical path to take due to nature’s malevolence. In Into The Wild, Krakauer writes a biography about a young man named Chris McCandless, in which he illustrates the similarities between himself and McCandless’s overly ambitious journey to accomplish feats in the wilderness. Coinciding with their similarities, they also faced an oppressive father figure at home, which lead the both of them to believe that their journey will provide them an answer to their problems at home. McCandless planned to survive in Alaska by living off the land while Krakauer wanted to be the first one to climb the Devil’s Thumb. What happened instead was that McCandless died at an early age, whilst Krakauer barely made it to tell the tale; proving nothing of value came from their journeys. While life on the road can offer solace to individuals who have struggled in their lives, it is unfathomable to think that the wilderness will offer them any embrace to their ambitions; therefore it should not be pursued as it leads to family issues and ignorant behavior.
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.
“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ―Maya Angelou. Jon Krakauer’s true story titled Into the Wild is about a man who decides to throw away his old life and escape the rules of conventional society. Twenty-two-year-old Chris McCandless came from a well-to-do family in Virginia and, without warning, abandons everything. He changes his name, loses contact with his family, gives away his car and all his money, and begins a two-year long journey hitchhiking to Alaska where he eventually dies of starvation. Although it may seem as though Chris McCandless is immature or reckless, he is actually rather admirable for his ideals because they allow him to live a life he is happy with.
The Alaskan Bush is one of the hardest places to survive without any assistance, supplies, skills, and little food. Jon Krakauer explains in his biography, Into The Wild, how Christopher McCandless ventured into the Alaskan Bush and ultimately perished due to lack of preparation and hubris. McCandless was an intelligent young man who made a few mistakes but overall Krakauer believed that McCandless was not an ignorant adrenalin junkie who had no respect for the land. Krakauer chose to write this biography because he too had the strong desire to discover and explore as he also ventured into the Alaskan Bush when he was a young man, but he survived unlike McCandless. Krakauer’s argument was convincing because he gives credible evidence that McCandless was not foolish like many critics say he was.
“I don’t want to know what time it is. I don’t want to know what day it is or where I am. None of that matters” (Krakauer 7). In Krakauer’s novel, Into the Wild, one of the key themes is the fact that the main character, Chris McCandless, values his principles more than his own family, possessions, or the people he cares about. He shows this in many ways throughout the novel and Krakauer hints on every single one. Several people McCandless met on his trek admired his principles and it led them to admire him. He is very anti-materialistic and shows this quality by giving the rest of his college fund to a charity fighting for world hunger. In Solitude, Thoreau writes about how society is insignificant and chooses to exchange it for a society of nature. This can be related to McCandless because Thoreau is valuing his principles over people because he believes society is insignificant, just like McCandless. In Werner Herzog’s film Grizzly Man, a man named Timothy Treadwell ventures off into the wild to provoke grizzly bears. Timothy Treadwell can be seen as someone who values his principles over people in a way that he leaves everyone behind and risks his life for his own good. He chooses to be potentially killed by grizzly bears, more than his own life. The reader
McCandless based many of his actions on things he read by his role models. He developed an ideal society on the teachings of authors like Estwick Evans. Estwick Evans says, “I wished to acquire the...virtues of savage life; to divest myself of the...imperfections of civilization...and to find...more correct views of human nature” (Krakauer 157). McCandless, therefore, rebels against society in order to enjoy the savage life. Chris
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.
Chris McCandless was a reckless idiot and there is no denying that basic truth. Chris McCandless was a man born into a middle class family. Chris had parents that loved him, a roof over his head, and food to eat. Despite all those riches he had, he threw them away. Chris was a very selfish man. Chris went off after he graduated college and “lived off the land”. Chris would travel to the coast of Mexico, the plains of Kansas, and the dunes of Nevada. Chris went on a final expedition to Alaska that cost him everything. In the following paragraphs I will fully detail how Chris was reckless, selfish, and naive. I will also explore how Chris tied his life to the beliefs of transcendentalism. One thing to not forget:
Anyone can have a story in their life and can turn it into a book. Jon Krakauer wrote Into the Wild on what happened to Christopher McCandless and turned his story into a novel. Jon Krakauer´s structure his novel to let the reader have their own opinions on Christopher McCandless by stating the book is on his bias viewpoint, putting it in non-chronological order, and wrote about his own background life story, which is all important to strengthen Krakauer 's motive of writing his book.
McCandless’s self-reliance is a big part of identifying him as transcendentalist. In the short story, “Death of an Innocent”, Chris says, “I've decided that I'm going to live this life for some time to come. The freedom and simple beauty of it is just too good to pass up.” McCandless feels that life should not be wasted doing what you do not love, and shows this by traveling and living off the land every chance he gets. Transcendentalists take in all of what nature has to give them by becoming one with it; like McCandless does throughout the story. By relying on himself instead of others, Chris managed to embody one of the most important pillars of transcendentalism; to only focus on what he needs, not on what society tells him is
People at some point in their lives have been overly confident about a certain aspect. This confidence has either lead to something desirable or not so desirable. Jon Krakauer in a book he wrote titled Into The Wild writes about a man's adventure into the wild. Chris Mccandless, The main character in this title was born into a friendly family his mom Billie and his dad Walt. Mccandless has three siblings but is very close to his little sister Carine. In Into The wild, Krakauer narrates the last couple of journeys Mccandless had on his adventure to Alaska where he ultimately died. Mccandless Touched many people's lives through all of his journeys. Mccandless went on these journeys because he was confused in life when he figured out his dad had cheated on his mom. This changed Mccandless to the point he began to hate his parents. Mccandless had a lot of confidence in himself so he left on an adventure to find his identity. Mccandless wanted to find
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.
What really drove Chris McCandless into the wild? I believe the top three of the countless reasons that drove McCandless into the wild was the emotional damage from his parents, rebellion of the youth & risk taking tendencies, and his hubris and detestation against authority and/or someone telling him what to do. Some may believe that Chris McCandless went into the wild because of his literary heroes Leo Tolstoy, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau , and Jack London but the real reason he left everything was because of those reasons. In this essay I will elaborate on why I believe those are the reasons that drove McCandless into the wild.
Henry David Thoreau is one of the primary promoters of the transcendentalist movement and has been inspiring people to take on the transcendentalist lifestyle ever since the mid 1800’s. Mccandless was an admirer of Henry’s philosophy but he wasn’t as fully immersed in his work and ideals as Thoreau was to his own. His intentions were not as closely aligned to the movement as Thoreau’s and the difference between these icons are clearly visible.
Henry David Thoreau especially supported the interaction between man and nature. With his experiment at Walden, he addresses a modern concept known as minimalism, focusing on the way one must supply for himself with his basic necessities. His intentions were not to isolate himself, but moreso to separate himself from a life dependent upon others. Through his actions, he is able to criticise society and many of their needs.