Chris Mccandless's Life

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In August 1992, a decomposed body, presumably died of starvation, was found inside an abandoned bus beside the Sushana River in Alaska. Shortly thereafter, the dead person was identified as twenty-four-year-old Chris McCandless, who was from an affluent family in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. A tragic story, with a mix of a young man, his well-off background, and happening in the most precarious but highly noble place, always had an emotional pull on people’s minds and stirred up people’s curiosity and perplexity. The question, often asked by the people with desire to grasp the truths, was why Chris with a privileged life would have gone to Alaska’s wilderness to face the ultimate challenge of his life. Was he in search of something …show more content…

During the college years, Chris had gradually become disenchanted with his own well-off lifestyle and turned himself into an avid follower of Tolstoy’s asceticism, “In college McCandless began emulating Tolstoy’s asceticism and moral rigor to a degree that first astonished, and then alarmed, those who were close to him” (Krakauer, Author’s Note ). The reason why Chris hooked on asceticism was largely due to Chris’s changed perception of the world that “McCandless took life’s inequities to heart” (Krakauer 113), and “More and more of the classes he took addressed such pressing social issues as racism and world hunger and inequities in the distribution of wealth” (Krakauer 123) only reinforced his stances on the issue of social inequities. Seemingly, Chris considered practicing asceticism: living a frugal, abstinent, and austere life, as his expression of disapproving the unjust world. Subsequently, the asceticism which helped transform Chris into a totally spiritual person also made him a single-minded person with greater intransigence. For Chris, anything as opposed to asceticism was a disturbance to him, including the material society, a mundane career path, and the relationship with his parents whom he labeled as “hypocrite.” Since the metamorphosis took place, Chris had faithfully abided by the exact principles of asceticism wherever he went and whatever he did. Purportedly in Chris’s mind, the ascetic life he was striving for was much more meaningful than the happy life he lived before because “meaning comes from the pursuit of more complex things than happiness” (Smith 1). In consideration of his total ascetic mentality, the trek that led Chris to the Alaska’s wilderness was basically just another massive undertaking of his ascetical exercise, eking out a remarkably frugal living in the wild with a spiritual revolution to pursue a meaningful quest of freedom, solitude, and

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