The bold and brash approach on life by transcendentalists was truly an ambitious lifestyle. Such individuals like Henry David Thoreau, Chris McCandless, and Jon Krakauer have renounced all of their mainstream agendas to lead a more fundamental life, but not without the criticism other have faced. The actions portrayed in their novels demonstrate how important it is to incorporate others’ ideas when one’s own choices.
In my opinion Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. have very similar purposes in their writings. Both author 's are writing to protest unfair laws. But they also have very different audiences.
The film Into the Wild is based on the life of Chris McCandless, a young man who rejected the consumerist society of America in order to live a more simple life. Through his travels, Chris carried essays by Transcendentalist philosophers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, suggesting that McCandless is impacted by Transcendentalist ideals. Two key tenets of Transcendentalism that clearly influenced McCandless’ choices are the value of simplicity and the importance of self-reliance.
Both Chris McCandless and Ralph Waldo Emerson are against modern society’s way of living and believe one should live their life in a non-conformist lifestyle driven by the awe of nature. Emerson wrote an essay called “Nature”. There he talked about the relationship one should have to God through nature, and was a popular role model of the transcendentalist movement. Emerson was anti-governmental, believing one cannot own nature or the land. He also writes about how he feels welcomed in nature, more so than he does in a village or society, favoring the natural land over the land humans created. He urged adults to see the world through the way a child would adore it, in a purer loving way. This goes against many Americans’ viewpoints on life, then and even now. He also mentions that he believes nature is a kind force to everyone, and is never cruel. On the other hand, Chris McCandless’s life is documented by the book Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. Within the book, Chris’s past is documented by his inability to conform. He was expected to go to college, but after his experience freshman year summer travel, he
Into the Wild tells the story of Chris McCandless, a young man who embarked on an adventure across the U.S. Chris lived for adventure, and sadly met his demise in the Alaskan wilderness. Chris’ death brought about a large debate as to whether Chris was insane or simply idealistic. Krakauer wrote Into the Wild to prove Chris’ sanity and soundly completes that task by using rhetorical devices to persuade his audience.
Some would say “Life on the road is suited for everyone”, others such as for myself, would disagree. Life on the road is not suited for everyone, because not everyone can throw away their normal life and go on the road or the wilderness and survive like Chris McCandless. Some would think, Chris McCandless, was on a suicide mission but he was only following his dreams and he actually did, unlike many people. Chris McCandless inspired so many people to move out, leave their old lives, and have a fresh start at their life. Chris McCandless was a independent person and he was trying to get away from civilization because he felt like he never fit into it.
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.
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
In the dictionary civil disobedience is the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest, but Thoreau and Martin Luther King have their own beliefs to civil disobedience. In Thoreau’s “Civil Disobedience” he writes about the need to prioritize one’s conscience over the dictates of laws. Martin Luther King uses civil disobedience as something that effectuates change in the government. Both Thoreau and Martin Luther King has similar yet different perspectives on civil disobedience.
Romanticism was a movement during the late 18th century that encouraged imagination, exploration, individualism, and emotion. From it derived Transcendentalism, one of the first movements to originate from America and which bore the first American philosophers. These movements are often present in many pieces of American literature and this is no exception in Jon Krakauer’s novel Into the Wild. The historic account retells the story of a young man named Chris McCandless, who adopts the pseudonym Alexander Supertramp and takes to the road, only to die of starvation in Alaska. On the surface it appears to be cautionary tale, but Krakauer literally retraces McCandless’ steps, talking to the people who Chris spoke with and even traveling to Chris’ final resting place.
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.
In the chapter titled Where I Lived, and What I Lived For from Henry David Thoreau’s novel Walden, the author utilizes rhetorical strategies such as imagery and tone to convey how the distractions that accompany a progressing civilization corrupts society. Since he is a transcendentalist, his argument encapsulates the same principles of becoming free from the binds of society and seeking harmony with nature. He emphasizes those ideals when he states that “[he] went to the woods because he wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if [he] could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when [he] came to die, discover that [he] had not lived”(276). In other words, he wanted to escape from society and live
Self reliance is one of the most significant components of the transcendentalism movement that Henry David Thoreau contributed to in his literary career. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” - (taken from Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”). As evident by this quotation by Thoreau, his motives purely consist of living in the idealistic states of nature rather than that of “civilization”. Thoreau also stated, “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life…”- (taken from Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”). Thoreau, in this statement shows that he is completely self reliant in the sense that he alone went out to nature to reap what he could and survive by his merits alone, sustaining himself only on what nature had to offer. While conversely McCandless could only survive with a
St. Francis of Assisi was a man who sought peace from the world and tried to bring
Chris utilized the theories of non-conformity, appreciation of nature, and the idea of being non-materialistic to set out on his expedition. With his belief in the importance of being self-reliant, McCandless entered the Alaskan wilderness embodying most of the principles that Tolstoy and Thoreau highlighted. Chris didn’t want every thing to be perfect; he wanted everything to be real. To Chris, the most important thing in life was happiness and he believed people could be happy with just the most basic necessities. Much likes a true transcendentalist, Chris McCandless let his individualism flow through his love of nature and adventures while refused to conform to our