Chris Mccandless: The American Dream

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Born into a family of eight, John D. Rockefeller grew up poor and struggled to meet demands before finding success through the oil industry. Beginning his tough journey through small jobs such as bookkeeping to eventually starting his own oil company, Rockefeller became one of the richest and most successful men in history. His story follows the concept of the so-called American Dream, defined by many as the idea that all people are given the chance to find success and wealth through their own efforts and through perseverance. However, there are different interpretations of the American Dream, as some people view it as personal achievement and happiness. The stories Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald strongly…show more content…
However, as he recognized the atrocities of the human world, he abandoned his future plans and set out for the outside world in hopes to find his happiness through an independent and different life. In order to achieve happiness, McCandless began by leaving his old life behind, as “he intended to invent an utterly new life for himself, one in which he would be free to wallow in unfiltered experience” (Krakauer 22), and sank away from the money-driven lifestyle he was born into. McCandless recognized his parents’ need for money to fulfill satisfaction and could not accept how people could continuously live off the joy of wealth. McCandless’s distaste of American society is further strengthened by the fact that “McCandless’s face would darken with anger and he’d fulminate about his parents or politicians or the endemic idiocy of mainstream American life.”(Krakauer 52) McCandless’s happiness was also obtained by exploration and adventure, as shown throughout the story when he travels to several locations such as South Dakota and Arizona. In each area, McCandless was able to experience a new way of society and was content no matter the…show more content…
Many would say that the American Dream consists of being affluent and living lavishly with those riches; Gatsby fits that description. As a child, Gatsby set his heart out on becoming rich. So as he grew up, he was able to change his identity from poor farm boy to a member of the upper class. He acquired his wealth from, not a by receiving a hefty inheritance, which is what most would believe, but by working, Although it was not, in particular, the most legal means of obtaining money, it was still a job that got him to where he was. Although Gatsby seemed to be living the dream with his extravagant parties and his luxurious possessions, he was actually not even happy. He had pined over Daisy, a woman whom he was in love with and he lost touch with, and made it his mission in life to win her over – eventually failing. Gatsby was always stuck in the past and always believed that “...in her heart she never loved any one except me!” (Fitzgerald 130) Jay Gatsby looks as if he was living the American Dream on paper, but in reality, he never even achieved the one thing he desired the most:
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