Into the Wild

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The effect of society and experiences on one’s identity
The non-fiction novel Into The Wild, written by John Krakauer, deals with the development of Chris McCandless’s identity and focuses on three major factors that had a large impact on his life:. First of all, the experiences he collected prior to his Alaskan trip with the friends he made had a great effect on him changing his whole view at life. Secondly, Chris’ identity is affected by the restrictions and societal expectations which results in repulsion towards humanity from Chris. Eventually his good academic efforts and in general successful life makes Chris overconfident. The reasons for Chris McCandless’ actions in Into The Wild are not genetically set, but instead are the result of the effect on his identity by his surroundings and experiences.

The people and friends Chris met during his stay before the great Alaskan adventure had an incredibly big effect on Chris’ identity, which is expressed by the sudden change in his behavior. During his stay before the Alaskan adventure Chris wanted to undertake, he made several friends, like Westerberg and Franz. In Chris early life, he mainly had negative experiences with society. Society makes you do things you do not want to do, does not help less fortunate people and also prevents you from finding your true self. Thus Chris values experiences over attachment and leaves his family. But when Chris made new friends he collected fundamentally different experiences about humanity, which changed his way of looking at the world. Eventually, Chris knew people with whom he had an extremely good relation and they even “asked Alex if [they] could adopt him” (55). This shows the extreme closeness of the relationships he had. Instead of staying in contact with his family, he stayed in contact with Franz and Westerberg by writing letters. Additionally, compared to the leave-taking to Chris’ family which occurred cold and silent, “he was crying” (68) when he said...
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