In 1992, 24 year old Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions and decided to hitchhike to Alaska and invent a new life for himself. Chris had just finished college and many thought he was going to further his education but instead he took a fatal trip into the wild. There are many questions still unanswered to why he felt he needed to go on this trip and people will never know the real reason why Chris McCandless hitchhiked to Alaska by himself with insufficient equipment. Although many people think that Chris McCandless went into the wild due to literacy influences, the real reasons behind his actions were due to family problems and his risk-taking tendencies.
“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” ―Maya Angelou. Jon Krakauer’s true story titled Into the Wild is about a man who decides to throw away his old life and escape the rules of conventional society. Twenty-two-year-old Chris McCandless came from a well-to-do family in Virginia and, without warning, abandons everything. He changes his name, loses contact with his family, gives away his car and all his money, and begins a two-year long journey hitchhiking to Alaska where he eventually dies of starvation. Although it may seem as though Chris McCandless is immature or reckless, he is actually rather admirable for his ideals because they allow him to live a life he is happy with.
A common thought among adolescents is the dream to finally leave home and discover who they are; I certainly share this dream. Though the concept is common, the reasons are unique; The differences in character and circumstances define who a person is. What may appear reasonable to some could very well be completely irrational to another. The story of Chris McCandless as reported by Jon Krakauer in the biographic novel Into the Wild is no exception. From the events in his childhood to the conflict with his father, we can see that Chris McCandless, a young man still discovering himself, became disillusioned with the structure of society and desired nothing more than to “no longer be poisoned by civilization” (163). Although McCandless had an adventurous, independent nature, it was his darker past, the conflict with his family, that influenced him to seek refuge in the wild.
Into The Wild portrays a man who went on a fatal unforgettable journey through the alaska wilderness. Chris McCandless was a man with great courage and the ability to live on his own made him more of a hero going on his fatal journey. Many would say he was foolish or not thinking right, but that is not the case. The case here is simply a man with courage wanting to fulfill is beliefs through his journey.
I agree with the author that Chris McCandless wasn’t crazy for going out into the wild. He wasn’t a loner; he chose to be on his own. But Chris could easily make friends. He had the right to travel. All he was trying to do was get away from the corrupt world.
The Alaskan Bush is one of the hardest places to survive without any assistance, supplies, skills, and little food. Jon Krakauer explains in his biography, Into The Wild, how Christopher McCandless ventured into the Alaskan Bush and ultimately perished due to lack of preparation and hubris. McCandless was an intelligent young man who made a few mistakes but overall Krakauer believed that McCandless was not an ignorant adrenalin junkie who had no respect for the land. Krakauer chose to write this biography because he too had the strong desire to discover and explore as he also ventured into the Alaskan Bush when he was a young man, but he survived unlike McCandless. Krakauer’s argument was convincing because he gives credible evidence that McCandless was not foolish like many critics say he was.
Going out into the wild all by yourself can be nerve wracking and lonely. Jon Krakauer makes Chris McCandless seemed like a noble person who took the initiative to try to go out and live into the wild. The book Into the Wild written by Jon Krakauer, is about a teenager named Chris McCandless leaving society and traveling to Alaska by himself with nothing else but a bag of rice and a small .22 caliber gun. Chris is heroic because he went to Alaska by himself without any knowledge of Alaska and didn’t know any of the dangers of Alaska.
Most people go into the wilderness to go camping for a week or less than a week, then leave. Some stay for more than a week. Chris McCandless was in the wild for at least one hundred days.“ I’ve decided to live this life for some time to come. The freedom and the beauty of it is too good to pass up.”(pg.92) He went into the wilderness to experience adventure and to find things he was searching for; nature, the path to happiness and freedom. Chris’ determination, self will, pursuit of happiness and the urge to break free are all explored. He did everything he could, so people wouldn’t be able to find him. Changing his name to Alex Supertramp, eliminating everything he had, and only taking things that he needs. Jon Krakauer's “Into the Wild” is an excellent book about how McCandless traveled to Alaska, and how he conquered his dreams. Krakauer also put some of McCandless’ journals and letters in the book. According to Shaun Callarmans analysis Chris McCandless had no business going to Alaska. Callarman thinks Chris McCandless is just plain crazy. Callarman doesn't admire his courage or noble ideas. Even though Shaun Callarman thinks Chris McCandless was bright and ignorant, also made mistakes because of his arrogance, I disagree with Callarmans analysis
McCandless and McCunn's ventures into the wild had similar intentions and strategies. Although, the outcome of their ventures were slightly different.
In the words of John Krakauer “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.” If asked to describe Chris Mcandless in Into The Wild one could say that he is simply foolish. Chris could have lived a longer life if he would have stayed in the comfort of his own hometown. Chris’ common sense was obliterated by his time in the wilderness. Not only did he throw common sense to the wind, he also went into the wild leaving behind many people who loved and cared deeply about him. Chris Mcandless was a heedless fool.
Throughout the course of Jon Krakauer’s Into The Wild the reader can see that time and time again Chris McCandless is unprepared for what lies ahead of him, which is why he is not a noble man, nor should his journey be considered noble. While it is true that McCandless had gone on adventures before, nothing had prepared him for the bitter cold climate and the lack of food he had in Alaska. McCandless was not prepared physically or mentally and he did not bring anywhere near enough supplies for someone planning to spend the summer in the harsh environment of Alaska. While it wasn’t foolish for Chris to go out and try to find happiness for himself, it was foolish of him to have been unprepared to begin a difficult adventure in Alaska. Chris McCandless
From the beginning of the novel it is apparent that McCandless has issues with his parents, mostly his father in particular. McCandless doesn’t approve of his father attempting to take over his life. His father’s ideals for him include going to college, getting a high-class job, and living a “normal” lifestyle. None of which is in McCandless’ future plans. This authority his father as well as the government tries to set upon him is one of the reasons why McCandless left to go into the wild. Another turning point in which McCandless lost trust in his father occurs during the revealing of his father’s secret, second family after questioning a number of old family friends. This pushes McCandless past his limit, and results into him rejecting his
In the beginning, McCandless starts his adventure by cutting himself off from all the human connections he had. He severs all ties from his family, including his sister which whom he was previously very close to. He burns his social security card, changes his name, and decides to travel across the country. Throughout his journey, Christopher often accounts for his parent’s wrongdoings for the reasons why he wanted to run away to Alaska. He subsists with a minimalist lifestyle and is disappointed in his parents’ behaviors and their materialism. In a letter penned to Wayne Westerberg, McCandless writes, “My days were more exciting when I was penniless” (Krakauer 33). He gets a thrill out of not knowing what will come his way each day. Being “penniless” furthers the sense of uncertainty. He even argues that, “Nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future” (Krakauer 40). In a way, everyday is a new adventure for Chris. This is why not only did he
Chris McCandless from the book “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer is a character who is extremely well liked by all. His smarts give him the ability to hold conversations with a variety of different people. Chris does not use his knowledge in a negative way that causes people to think that he is arrogant, it just comes out of him naturally, leaving many people impressed by the young boy. Through his character, I learned how much intelligence can truly add to one's personality. Chris is subconsciously phenomenal at speaking with new people due to his wide range of knowledge.
Chris McCandless abandoned the modern world and chose the wild because he believed that he could improve himself through living in the wild, and found the true happiness of the life. McCandless abandoned his wealthy family because of his complicated relationship with his father, and he was ashamed with his father’s adultery. Therefore, McCandless believed that human relationship was not the only thing that forms happiness, instead a man’s connection with the nature brings joy as well. He also believed the habitual lifestyle was not what people were meant to do, and people shouldn't have more possessions than what they need. For this reason, McCandless traveled with little effects. In addition, McCandless thought he could found the solution to his frustration with the adultery of his father, and found the true happiness for his life through escaping into the wild.