Who Is Chris Mccandless Self Reliance

1012 Words5 Pages

Mccandless’ Odyssey of Solitude

“To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society” , Emerson on Nature. In the biographical narrative, Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, Chris McCandless, an unprepared teenager, walks into Denali, Alaska and never returns. After McCandless’ body is discovered in Fairbanks Bus 142, Jon Krakauer follows McCandless’ footsteps in an attempt to learn what he did and why. Krakauer discerns that McCandless’ ideas and philosophies were closely aligned with the teachings of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Both Emerson and Thoreau are pioneers of Transcendentalism, the belief that the reality of oneself is discovered through nature. McCandless left his home and walked …show more content…

McCandless’ self reliance is the cornerstone of his philosophy and contributes to his ultimate demise when he walked into the wild with nothing but his wits and basic supplies. His main influence for this ideal came from Emerson’s aptly named essay Self-Reliance where he writes, “But a cultivated man becomes ashamed of his property, out of new respect for his nature. Especially he hates what he has, if he see that it is accidental, — came to him by inheritance, or gift, or crime; then he feels that it is not having; it does not belong to him, has no root in him, and merely lies there, because no revolution or no robber takes it away”. When Mccandless is offered charity in the form of food and clothes he refuses to take them, when he does he does so begrudgingly and in some cases leaves it behind. A similar example of his shame for property he didnt earn was the money he got to go to college. He donated the leftover $24,000 dollars of his college founding to OXFAM America before he left on his trip. Another idea McCandless procures from Emerson is: “Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can

Open Document