Examples Of Transcendentalism In Into The Wild

935 Words4 Pages

Into the Wild: Transcendentalism at it’s Finest “If this adventure proves fatal and you don’t ever hear from me again I want you to know you’re a great man (Chapter 14).” This was a quote from a letter that Chris McCandless wrote to an acquaintance named Wayne Westerberg. It was a week or so before Chris McCandless spent many months in the Alaskan wilderness alone, and eventually arrived to his death. In the above quote, it corresponds to one of the five keys of transcendentalism, specifically “the goodness of humans,” because McCandless cared about Westerberg enough to tell him how he felt about him as a friend and fellow human being. Although Into the Wild was written in the 1980s, the book has many transcendentalist ideas that were established …show more content…

McCandless chooses to become close to Westerberg during his travels, instead of pausing there only for a moment and then leaving again like he did with his family and other people he met on his journey. He opened up to Westerberg and even talked to him about his rocky past and his family that was missing him back in Chesapeake Bay. We learn in chapters eleven and twelve that when Chris McCandless was a child, he did not like following rules or being told what to do. However, he was very intelligent. So intelligent that one of his teachers recommended that he should be put in an accelerated program. Instead of being excited or proud of himself, McCandless told his mother that he did not want to be in the program, because there was more homework than the normal class. This is an example of the transcendentalist key non-conformity. It relates to the essay “Civil Disobedience” by Henry David Thoreau, because both are about non-conformity and that everyone should make their own decisions and form their own opinions about a subject. Walt McCandless, Chris McCandless’ father, provides more information about McCandless’ non-conformity: ““If you attempted to talk [McCandless] out of something he wouldn’t argue. He’d just nod politely and then do exactly what he wanted (Chapter …show more content…

I agree with all five keys of transcendentalism, except for the key that states to reduce your dependence on property. To me, you have to be the right type of person to be able to reduce your dependence on property. If you go to a big city and ask homeless people if they enjoy living on the streets, you most likely will not get an optimistic answer. A person like Chris McCandless enjoys his reduced dependence on property because he likes adventure and living simply. Other people like to feel secure and in my opinion that is definitely okay. Of the rest of the keys of transcendentalism, I agree with non-conformity the most. It is extremely important to be true to yourself and be your own person. If you pretend to be like somebody else, then you are not being the real you. That is not healthy because if you keep up a façade the whole time, then you lose yourself in it. It is important to not conform because that is how new things are invented, how new ideas are formed, and how new decisions are

Open Document