Chris Mccandless

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“To call each thing by its right name…by its right name.” What did Chris McCandless discover once he left the “cave”? Describe how one can draw meaning from Plato’s cave myth in relation to the film. Does Chris McCandless’ life and death bear any resemblance to that of Socrates?

When Chris left “the Cave” of his former family life, he discovered many things. The first of these, and probably the most important or significant is that it was possible for him to survive without the wealth and comforts he had grown up with.

Despite his parents’ expectations and rules, he could live an independent life of his own choosing. Going to study Law at Harvard wasn't’ the only thing that would make his life complete. As Chris said himself, “The core of mans spirit comes from new experiences.”

Another important discovery came about through meeting Jan and Rainey. Chris discovered that two people no matter how old or poor; could have a loving, communicative relationship with each other. Even if they disagreed on something, they could have a mature discussion about it, rather then resorting to yelling, screaming and physical violence as his parents did.

Chris also discovered that he could make friendships with people that would be significant enough for them to consider him family. We saw this in the film with Ron who wanted to adopt Chris. This was also summed up by the last words Chris wrote which were “Happiness is only real when shared.” He had realised that although he enjoyed the solitude of the wild, sharing his joy with someone else was most important.

Finally Chris discovered that he could understand the truth of life by living a simple one. Nature was a place of happiness where he could exist to understand himself and the world.

One can draw meaning from Plato’s cave myth in relation to the film by Chris being a “prisoner” to his parents’ ambitions for him. He knew no other life but the discipline of study and felt trapped by his own fears. His...
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