Examples Of Individualism In Into The Wild

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The divinity of life through spirit rather than material, and in nature rather than in society, was tested and actively advocated by Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. The transcendentalist movement spoke of individualism and a plain lifestyle. As society develops, these simplistic ideals become an “unrealistic” way of life due to the dependence we must have on things other than our own self. However, the film Into the Wild denies this idea as it traces a man’s life and independent survival in the wilderness. Into the Wild illustrates the values of transcendentalism by portraying a man’s spiritual journey through the experiences of nature, self-reliance, and rejection of the material world.
Into the Wild demonstrates
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In Into the Wild, the protagonist Christopher McCandless separates himself from society by choosing to live his own journey of survival. He develops his own self-reliance as a single human outside of civilization and connects with nature to find his own identity and individuality, key qualities of transcendentalism. In the movie Christopher says, “...And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong but to feel strong. To measure yourself at least once. To find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions. Facing the blind death stone alone, with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head.” This relates to the beliefs of Walt Whitman by stating the reliance on the physical body and soul. In mentioning his new dependence on anything but “your hands and your own head,” Christopher connects to Whitman’s idea of the body’s unpredictable abilities. In I Sing the Body Electric #7, Whitman emphasizes the value of the physical body and the “wonders within there yet,” connecting to Christopher’s idea that his physical body is capable of surviving independently in the wild. In addition, Christopher also highlights the fact that his situation drives him to rely mentally on his mind and thoughts. He is forced to be completely dependent on his head and hands, showing ultimate independence and inner power. The new lifestyle Christopher…show more content…
upheld by the followers of transcendentalism. Like many transendentalists, Christopher believes that the possession of luxury items defeats the purpose of life in general. He belives that rRather than absorbing our natural surroundings and gifts from God, we desire insignificant material items. On the first day of his journey in the wild, Christopher burned all his money and credit cards before stepping out in the woods, proving his rejection toward the materialistic world. He speaks to himself embracing his capability of living a simple lifestyle. “You can do anything. You can go anywhere,” he says. “I don’t need money, makes people cautious. Money, power it’s an illusion… You can be you.” Christopher’s state of mind is completely against materialism. He assures himself that dependence on money is unnecessary and only comes from self-deception. Rather, he is appreciative of nature since it allows him to chase all his aspirations and be true to himself. Christopher’s mindset equally compares to that of Emerson, having disbelief in the materialistic society. In the movie, Christopher recites one of Emerson’s infamous quotes. He says, “I’ll paraphrase Thoreau here; rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” Thoreau expresses his belief that these three things are restrictions from living life to its fullest potential. While love and the bond of
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