English 12B: American Literature
15 March 2012
Into the Wild Temperament Type Analysis
The novel Into the Wild is a nonfiction novel published by Jon Krakauer who investigated the life and death of a free spirited individual named Christopher McCandless. McCandless was a recent Emory University graduate who sought to suck the marrow out of life through an independent experience in nature and purposely sought to this experience in the rawest form of supplies. He was found dead in August of 1992 in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness. For the sake of his journey, he purposely didn't bring an adequate amount of food or supplies. Consequently, those who read of his actions wonder what evoked him to live the way he did. To explain this, Christopher's temperament type may adequately explain his actions and reasons for them. However, what was McCandless temperament type? Based on the evidence in the story, it's reasonable to infer Chris had an ISTP temperament type.
Consequently, opponents to this position may argue that McCandless gravitated toward the preferences of intuition and feeling. The story Into the Wild does provide evidence that McCandless engaged in intuitive behaviors. According to the Cornell Notes for Temperament Types, an individual who prefers intuition may be perceived as "attending to future possibilities" and prefers having a "big picture approach" to situations. Early on in the story, Chris runs into his treacherous problem when his yellow Datsun gets wrecked by a flash flood near the edge of Detrital Wash, recalling that, "There would be thickets of red tape to negotiated and fines to pay. His parents would no doubt be contacted. But there was a way to avoid such aggravation: He could simple abandon the Datsun and resume his odyssey on foot." Based on what the author, Jon Krakauer, says about Chris, Chris appears to sound intuitive. He attended to his various future possibilities by seeing this loss as "an opportunity to shed unnecessary baggage." Overall, loosing his car allowed Chris to get the sense that he would indeed be better without it.
START: When it comes to extroversion and introversion preferences, Christopher McCandless prefers introversion. According to MBTI Basics, introverts "may have fewer friends but deeper relationships." This preference is very evident in the character of McCandless throughout the story. The deeper type of relationship that demonstrates this preference is when Christopher met Franz. In reference to McCandless' relationship with Franz, Franz explains to Krakauer, "Now that my own boy's dead, I'm at the end of the line...So I asked Alex if I could adopt him, if he would be my grandson." This supports the idea that McCandless prefers introversion because he spent so much time bonding with Franz that he almost adopted him. Chris never fully accepted the offer, nor rejected it. In truth, Christopher had few others with whom he stayed in touch with but his time with Franz soared above the rest.
Consequently, extroverts would've connected with more people on a more casual basis. In addition, the Temperament Type Notes imply that introverts enjoy working individually. When Franz offers to give McCandless money in hopes McCandless won't leave for San Diego, McCandless states " You don't get it. I'm going to San Diego. And I'm leaving on Monday." McCandless sought to continue on his journey alone. McCandless sought to reject Franz help when he offered to drive him to San Diego, "Don't be ridiculous." What a trek. In truth, Christopher preferred to do this part of his journey without the help of Franz. It's reasonable to infer if Chris was an extrovert that he would've enjoyed the lift as well as, the company. The Temperament Notes included that introverts obtain their energy from their individual thoughts and reflections. Through writing to others along his journey and himself, Christopher stayed afloat. Most of his reflections were...