There are similarities between Chris McCandless and Henry David Thoreau, but there is also many differences. Chris and David’s thoughts on the following ideas are just some of the many similarities they have: transcendentalism, materialism, individualism, and nature. One difference between McCandless and Thoreau is that Thoreau studied and enjoyed technology, while McCandless did not. The two characters may have extensive similarities, but their differences characterize their personalities.
In the process of comparing the two, GPT’s writing style undermines many grammatical rules. Chat GPT logically compares Chris Mccandless and two of the most well known transcendentalists, Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, in a way that allows both of their philosophies to be analyzed. Specifically, GPT introduces Thoreau and Emerson’s most famous works, "Civil Disobedience" and "Nature.” By citing these transcendentalist pieces, GPT does well at comparing many of their philosophies with Chris’ similar moral code. While comparing the two, GPT talks about how Thoreau believes men differ from one another “perhaps it is because [they] hear a different drummer” (Thoreau Civil Disobedience).
As the fourth section progresses we are introduced to a variety of characteristics that define a rebel. My personal take was that you know you are truly rebel when you cannot be easily defined by stereotypes of a rebel. In addition, a rebellious person may rebel against multiple ideals but in rebelling against those ideals they support different ideals. Chris McCandless is a paragon of a rebel seen in his rebellion against societal norms but also his rebellion against characteristics of individuals that rebel against societal norms.
Although numerous may argue that McCandless’s family problems served as primary motivation for his journey, there is more evidence showing that it was the literature he read while he was in college. Various events led Chris McCandless up to the start of his journey into the wilderness, but it was literature that served as the primary reason. That being unusual, McCandless lived according to “I felt in myself a superabundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life” (Krakauer 15). McCandless wanted to go out and explore for himself a life in which he got a glimpse of in the literature he read.
In the 1830s, the idea of transcendentalism came alive. Transcendentalism was the opposite of rational thinking. It was about being independent, living based on nature, and connecting to god by yourself. Going into the wild is a privilege because being rich or coming from a wealthy background, being male, and white makes an advantage if you are in middle-class or lower-class, a female, or people of color. At that time of transcendentalism, females were looked down upon in society.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”- Henry David Thoreau. Transcendentalism is an American philosophy that revolves around self-reliance and independence, commonly in nature, a Transcendentalist wants to find the true meaning in life. I believe that Chris McCandless was a Transcendentalist because he was able to leave his whole life behind and take on a minimalist lifestyle while having a strong relationship with god. However, I believe that I am not a Transcendentalist, but simply an adventurer.
Religions often include: spiritual explanations of our place in the world in an attempt to answer questions about "why we are here"; worship of deities and/or supernatural entities (including ancestors); conceptions of "holy" and "sacred" activities ideas and objects; set rituals, calendar events based on the changing seasons, distinctive dress codes (especially for religious professionals), codes of morality and action that are given a mandate from a supernaturally great being, from a supernatural force or from the will of the Universe itself; and, a caste of privileged and exalted professionals who have particular claims to be in touch with transcendental
Henry David Thoreau and Chris McCandless embrace beliefs from the Transcendental philosophy. In the book Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer and the excerpts from Walden by Henry David Thoreau readers can see connections between the beliefs of McCandless and Thoreau. They show that McCandless and Thoreau share the Transcendental beliefs of being one with nature, having self-wisdom, and simplicity. Parallels exist between the Transcendental beliefs of Chris McCandless and Henry David Thoreau.
In the short story, “Death of an Innocent” by Jon Krakauer, Chris McCandless travels into the Alaskan wilderness with the intention of relying completely on himself. In the true spirit of transcendentalism, McCandless travels to escape the bounds of society and to remove himself from a materialistic world. Many argue, however, that Chris McCandless was not a transcendentalist because he travels to exotic lands as a means of avoidance, but actually, Chris McCandless is the epitome of a transcendentalist. Transcendentalists, however, rely on themselves and nature to survive and do not depend on material items. Transcendentalists romanticize individualism and believe that intuition is the best guide through life.
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.
One of the many rebellious acts of McCandless is when he went against the standard government. McCandless refused to buy a hunting license because “How [he fed himself was] none of the government's business, fuck their stupid rules”(pg6). McCandless shows a teenager trait because he did not respect the government, which makes him sounds invincible and care free. During his time in the wild he was looking for himself and he felt that isolation was the best way possible to find happiness. In the passage Expert from Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson says ”
I analyzed the attitude of the author Henry David Thoreau, in the excerpt from the story Walden, I believe he has realized that a simpler life with less ownership of things is a better way to live. He used many examples of figurative speech and I believe his tone is moralizing, in that he is trying to convince others to appreciate the simpler way of life. In this part of the book I have examined, Thoreau explains why he has moved to a secluded place to live. Tells how he was worried about not knowing what life is really like so he moved away from others and the demands of life.
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.
Transcendentalism is a philosophical and social movement that represents an idealistic thought system. That focused on the spirit and felt it’s more important than the mere matter of belief in a religion. But it’s a belief in a cosmic unity and in the ultimate connection between all living things to nature. therefore, two themes that are important to transcendentalism are spirituality and the love of nature; transcendentalism is important in my life because of the love for nature. However, I enjoy that happy feeling nature gives you when laying underneath the trees.
“Transcendentalism, in philosophy and literature, belief in a higher reality than that found in sense experience or in a higher kind of knowledge than that achieved by human reason.” The Transcendentalist movement began in the early nineteenth century that was able to impact the Americans with the belief of a new manner of thinking, that was soon spread to the rest of the world. Ideas such as Nonconformity, Self-reliance, Free Thought, Confidence, and Importance of Nature helped improve the nation as a whole. Nonconformists usually were the ones who stood out in the communities as leaders or revolutionaries.