Into The Wild Ethical Analysis

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Chris McCandless, whose story is analyzed in Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, is a young adult who decides to leave his known habits and material belongings behind and live a completely self-sufficient life in the wilderness, a choice which ultimately leads to his death. In doing that, he also forfeits his family and friends. With that in mind, a question can be posed regarding the ethics of said behavior. As a childless, single and financially independent man, Chris McCandless has absolute ownership of his body and thus his decision to continue doing a sport that he knows can kill him is ethically defensible. Firstly, it is evident that McCandless is financially independent. He pays for his own college education at Emory University with money received from a deceased family friend (20) and has enough left to proceed to Law School if he decides to do so. Thus, McCandless is in no way reliant on his parents and constantly makes it clear that he does not want to be. When offered a car as a graduation present, for instance, he repeatedly denies it, saying that he “already has a perfectly good one” (21), once again…show more content…
Even this, however, does not constitute an ethical transgression on McCandless’ part. If Into the Wild proves anything, it is that McCandless is not suicidal, making any hurt caused by him completely unintentional. Chris spends large parts of his days ensuring that he will have enough food by hunting (164), reads about edible plants before going into the woods so that he will know what to consume (160), and ultimately, leaves a note which asks for help when he realizes he can no longer make it out of on his own (12). He has every intention of coming out of Alaska alive, which means that any emotional harm caused to his relatives is entirely accidental. McCandless never intends to hurt
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