Chris Mccandless The Wild Literary Analysis

938 Words4 Pages
Joseph Campbell once said, "Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning." In the eyes of many, Chris McCandless was a troubled man. Many thought that he was not going in the direction his life should have been aimed. Instead of seeking employment with his college degree, marrying, doing “normal things” at his age, he chose to donate the money that remained in his college fund to a charity called Oxfam, assumed the name of Alexander Supertramp, deserted his family and began a journey all over the country that would ultimately lead to his great Alaskan adventure. McCandless’ death led to much media attention, which in turn, led to strong opinions about…show more content…
In spite of what critics insist about his character, McCandless was far from a senseless black sheep; these shallow dismissals are overly exaggerated when, in fact, McCandless’ endeavors are sorely misinterpreted. Jon Krakauer writes, “McCandless didn’t conform particularly well to the bush-casualty stereotype. Although he was rash, untutored in the ways of the backcountry, and incautious to the point of foolhardiness, he wasn’t incompetent -- he wouldn’t have lasted 113 days if he were. And he wasn’t a nutcase, he wasn’t a sociopath, he wasn’t an outcast. McCandless was something else -- although precisely what is hard to say. A pilgrim, perhaps” (85). Some argue that McCandless was cowardly in his decision to “run away from his problems” and selfish in failing to seek further communication with his family, thereby rejecting them peace of mind after his disappearance. While this is…show more content…
Christopher McCandless is a legend of sorts. He, unlike so many, dared to escape society’s opression, to seek insight, and to follow his own heart and intuition. There will always exist those who, in their prejudices and misconceptions, chastise his ideas for being off the trodden path, for McCandless’ beliefs are not the first of its kind. Dozens before him have experienced similar journeys such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, David Henry Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and they, too, have been underestimated as mere idealists in their times; only later is their wisdom adequately valued, and even then, much less heeded. Nevertheless, the truth will always exist, though only for those who actively seek it. Indeed, McCandless has not been the first martyr of transcendentalism, nor will he be the last. Future generations will bring new visionaries, who will come to shed insight upon our broken civilization; perhaps inspired by his actions. This is the significance of Alexander
Open Document