Chris Mccandless Transcendentalism Analysis

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McCandless has often been compared to Henry David Thoreau and without doubt McCandless was influenced by the transcendentalist movement but to compare these two people would be an insult to Thoreau and his philosophy. It is true that he displayed civil disobedience hitchhiking when it is not allowed, hoping freights, and hunting in Stampede Trail without a license; Chris’s father also points out that “He refused instruction of any kind” (Krakauer, Wild 111). He interprets “civil disobedience” as a rejection of any kind of imposed law expressing extremely individualistic ideals freeing yourself from society and power, but Thoreau considers his responsibility to break the law if it overrun the rights of other human beings and is against his judgement of morals rather than following the will of the government and the majority blindly.…show more content…
He wanted to hide from reality from the mistakes his father made so with a surge of recklessness and erroneous optimism he went into the wild. Thoreau went into the wild for a greater purpose to live simply thinking on a higher plane, understanding the human heart, and connecting to nature. Perhaps it could be argued that McCandless lived out Thoreau’s beliefs in terms of living modestly in nature better than Thoreau because McCandless actually ventured into the wilderness rather than living outside of town, he lived in solitude rather than Thoreau who had many guests, and he risked his life to live out his philosophy. This shows the main discrepancy between Thoreau and McCandless – the planning and execution. Thoreau never advocates the need to be reckless but he escapes to the woods for inspiration and discovery. He never fully rejects civilization nor fully embraces wilderness, but rather sought the middle ground – the pastoral
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