January 7, 2013
Alexander Supertramp’s Great Perhaps
Many people may consider Transcendentalists crazy and insane, others think of them as brilliant and inspiring. Chris McCandless, otherwise known as Alexander Supertramp, goes for the latter in the book about his experiences Into the Wild. The story of his life is studied and interpreted by Jon Krakauer, who completed and published the book in 1997. Narrated by Krakauer, the account of the event that led McCandless to become a modern and extreme transcendentalist is hardly forgettable. The works of writers such as Tolstoy and Thoreau inspire him to follow the advice given that he so much admired. Some think that McCandless is a reckless and ignorant imbecile who perishes out of his own arrogance and ridiculous ego, however, he truly is courageous and noble. Transcendentalists believed in many things that most people did not, such as leaving everything behind in order to focus on one’s self. Many people would not be able to give up everything they own and accept nature and the wild as their home, only living off of the land and what they could find. Even today people would find the idea of “no phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes” (Krakauer 165) inconceivable, frightening, and unrealistic. However, to the Transcendentalists themselves, the task was entirely worth it. In their eyes, the point, seeming both reachable and enticing, was worth giving up their lives and taking on a new lifestyle in order to find their true and raw selves. They wanted to escape society, money, people, and the influences of lives that centered on worldly things. Sought to embrace simplicity and nature. Transcendentalists trusted that leaving those things behind would allow them to discover themselves and learn how to see the world as it was: beautiful, peaceful, admirable, and true. They were convinced that if they could “live truly, [they would] see truly” (“Self-Reliance” 3). They lived as closely...