Guaranteed Chris Mccandless Analysis

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Guequierre, Clara-Lou

A Death “Guaranteed” by a Lifetime of Choices

“S.O.S. I NEED YOUR HELP. I AM INJURED, NEAR DEATH, AND TOO WEAK TO HIKE OUT OF HERE. I AM ALL ALONE, THIS IS NO JOKE. IN THE NAME OF GOD, PLEASE REMAIN TO SAVE ME. I AM OUT COLLECTING BERRIES CLOSE BY AND SHALL RETURN THIS EVENING. THANK YOU.” (198) Chris McCandless was alone. For 144 days he had persevered in the harsh Alaskan wilderness, and now he lay starving in the sleeping bag his mother sewed for him years before, taking his final breath. The journey he took to get to this final resting place was winding and northbound, and the song “Guaranteed” by Eddie Vedder is a homage to the dying moments of Chris McCandless through sweeping musical elements, lyrics and literary
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This idea is best shown in Vedder’s line “I know all the rules but the rules did not know me/ Guaranteed.” First and foremost, this line shows Chris’s moment of death because the lyrics proceeding are wholly in present tense, and this line alone transitions into past tense, indicating that McCandless has passed away. Along with the allusion to McCandless’s death, Vedder encompasses Chris’s motives in the single line. Chris understood society, and despised it. His rejection of society is what prompted his ultimate and final journey into the wild. McCandless expresses this disdain in many ways throughout the book, including the authors he worshiped, books he read, and passages he underlined, such as a quote from Doctor Zhivago, which reads: “Oh, how one wishes sometimes to escape from the meaningless dullness of human eloquence, from all those sublime phrases, to take refuge in nature apparently so inarticulate or in the wordlessness of long, grinding labor, of sound sleep, or of a human understanding rendered speechless by emotion!” (189) This clearly shows that Chris valued what he believed a restless life in the wilderness could give him over what he surmised society could. This belief influenced Chris’s decisions throughout his life, and is reflected in Vedder’s

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