Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, tells the story of a young man named Christopher McCandless who decided to go and survive in the wilderness of Alaska without correct preparation. McCandless was a man with as transcendentalist-like mindset, an adventurer, an explorer, and a hiker. He migrated away from civilization and society with the goal of living in solitude and living his life to the fullest through nature. The audience was introduced to McCandless’ views towards society through McCandless’ journey through Alaska, and the depressing yet inspiring events that led up to his death. Krakauer creates emotional appeals to connect him with McCandless to credit himself as a writer, as well as to develop the audiences’ feelings of McCandless. Krakauer
Considered the “Father of Western Philosophy”, the great Aristotle is quoted as saying “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” This is something that, a young intelligent man in the early 1990’s took to heart, as he set out on a great journey to know himself. Chris McCandless, this young man, however took a different path than most in terms of discovering himself by attempting to abandon society and live off the land in rural Alaska. Chris’s journey throughout his brief adulthood, should be celebrated due to his pursuit of self discovery, and finding the source of true happiness. However we must acknowledge his decision to go into the unforgiving wilderness ill-prepared and the way he rejected true companionship in his travels pre-Alaskan adventure should not be ignored.
John Muir deeply lived in the solitude of now, and integrated a sense of belonging within Yosemite when he wrote, “We are now in the mountains and they are in us” (Muir, p. 72). Muir describes in detail the joyous Yosemite, the mountains, valleys, forests, Yosemite Creek with falling waters, creatures and plants, in which, erupted in his first summer as the very breath of his life, that soaked the exquisite sightings into his skin and rooted themselves into his bones. Muir delineated the vast beauty of the landscape and the simple face of a daisy declaring a himself a servant in a “holy wilderness," a wilderness that mirrored the reflection of the Creator.
In the 2013 online article, “The Chris McCandless Obsession Problem”, author Diana Saverin describes the Alaskan wilderness travel phenomenon along with attempting to uncover the ‘McCandless Pilgrims’ “root of motivation. Sparked by the release of both Jon Krakauer’s and Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild”, numerous individuals pack their backpacks and eagerly step into their (sometimes newly-bought) hiking shoes and tramp into the Alaskan Wild to pay homage to their hero Chris McCandless. Filled with personal anecdotes and interviews, Severin’s Outside article takes a new approach Into the Wild commentary by directing attention to the lives McCandless’s story affected indirectly rather than critiquing on McCandless himself. In response to what appears to be a huge amount of troubled McCandless-inspired tramping stories, Saverin provides an unbiased rationale as a attempt to explain why so many are “willing to risk injury, and even death, to..visit the last home of Alaska’s most famous adventure casualty”.
In “Into the Wild, ” Jon Krakauer explores the human compulsion with nature and the purpose of life. Throughout the book, Krakauer documents the intoxicating/galvanizing life and death of Christopher Jon McCandless, aka Alexander Supertramp, a young hitchhiker that embarked on an Alaskan Odyssey to explore himself and the wilderness. Like many before him, McCandless thought that he could give is his life meaning by pursuing a relationship solely with nature. McCandless had “an impractical fascination with the harsh side of nature. (85) He also believed that declining human relationships, deserting his materialistic ways, and acquiring books about wildlife would strengthen his bond with nature. Christopher quoted in a letter to his friend
Christopher McCandless, a 29-year-old dreamer, went on the journey of a lifetime to involve himself with nature and being truly independent. He had lived a life of privilege, made amazing grades in school, and even went to school at Emory College, getting degrees in both history and anthropology. Even though he seemed to have everything good going for him, it’s not the life he wanted. McCandless decides after law school to go deep into the “wild”, with no map, no resources. All he kept was a small journal and camera in which he captured and recorded all of his experiences in, allowing people for the rest of time to read and learn about his journey in his book titled Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer. This impulsive decision that McCandless made would soon cost him his life, and most people would see him as being crazy for it. A man named Shaun Callarman, for example, believed that he “ had no Common sense. . . he was just plain crazy.” I disagree with this statement, however, and believe that Christopher had a very transcendentalist view on life,agreeing with most all of the great Henry David Thoreau and his ideals, but just made a few careless mistakes that would have been the difference between life and death.
I will never forget that encounter the intense sun, the endless horizon, the infinite shades of blue that dissolved any boundary between sky and trees.The views were like swimming into a kaleidoscope, deceptively plain "Lake Winaukee" sign on the outside, but a show of colors on the inside, waiting to shock and, mesmerize me. Those colors! Sails on the horizon covered the lake; streaks of sunlight illuminated them, the swaying wildlife creating a dance of rhythm. Beautiful, preserved life synchronizing every movement with the camp sight creating one living entity. As I finish my 15 minutes of observations at camp, I realized I was ready for my first padded practice of the year.
This past summer I went on vacation with my aunt’s family to Colorado, and being from iowa, the land of corn and flat ground, we wanted to do all the mountain things you can do in Colorado. one very memorable mountain we visited was Pikes Peak, one of the tallest mountains in Colorado 14,114 thousand feet above sea level. There are two ways you can get to the top of Pikes Peak, you can drive up the side of the mountain, or you can ride the train up the other side, if you ride the train then you can only be on the top for 20 to 30 minutes, but if you drive you can do whatever you want, so we chose to drive up.
The past experiences of the main character, Chris McCandless, had an extraordinary effect on his life and the gradual end he met in Fairbanks bus 142. Between Chris and his father, Walt, there was a lot of tension. Chris had always been livid towards his father for his actions that put a massive strain on the whole family. Ever since that tragic event occurred, Chris’s childhood was never the same. This event influenced his personality, similar to how his early exposure to the wild also impacted him. The McCandless family often went on vacations from the shores of the eastern coast line, to the vast mountains of Colorado; here, Chris discovered his passion for the wild. If Chris were to experience different events in his past, the novel “Into the Wild”, may never
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is a nonfiction narrative following the life of Christopher Mccandless. McCandless’ life was considered significant because he was a high achieving college graduate who abandoned his old life for a new one, roaming about in the wilderness. Readers find McCandless appealing because he lived life following his gut and searching for his true self in the natural world. McCandless was remembered by Wayne Westerberg’s wife--knows Chris through Wayne-- as a person who “insisted on living out his beliefs” (67). He didn’t let anyone deter him from finding himself in solidarity, despite what the average person may think. McCandless also discovered that “it is impossible to to live
13. The author’s views towards the subject are understanding, and appreciative for what Chris McCandless had done. The author could relate to Chris’s story as he had his own experiences hiking alone in the wild with no way of getting help. “I would go to Alaska, ski inland from the sea across thirty miles of glacial ice, and ascend this mighty nordwand. I decided, moreover, to do it alone.” (Krakauer, 135) This quote is about the author and his trek up the Stikine Ice Cap, like Chris he decided to adventure on his own, removing himself from society. This is why I feel the authors tone is understanding towards Chris’s story, since he can relate to him through his own experiences.
In Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild there is a clear connection with the author and nature that has guided her and led her astray throughout her life. Her memoir covers a pivotal time in her young life when she when from an immature young person to a woman who is self-reliant and able to be happy by her own means. The book is written mainly reflecting on her time on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) when she was between the age 22 and 26 years old also remembering childhood events. Cheryl’s journey starts when her mother suddenly dies of caner and she was only 22 years old. Soon after her brother and sister become estranged, she goes through a divorce, becomes a drug addict, and has an abortion. She is determent to hike the PCT and with a symbolic monster on her back she makes her journey with the risk of starving, dehydration, hypothermia, and along
“The Trouble with Wilderness,” has become a basis for environmental movements. Cronan challenges its readers to reevaluate the way they perceive the natural world. The concept of the “wilderness” has become a societal construct. Most of its early implications were biblical and associated with negative connotations of darkness, angst, desolation and Satan himself. It was not until the end of the nineteenth century, where people began to see the wilderness as something sacred.
Summertime, 2015. Opening the car door to thick summer heat, my feet grounded on the earthy grass of the familiar summer camp, I felt hesitant about attending this two-week sleepaway session; however, spotting my friends calling me from the picnic table on which they lounged, I figured a little perspiration