In the book Into the Wild by John Krakauer a boy by the name of Chris McCandless was born on February 12, 1968. He attended school all the way up to high school in his hometown of Washington D.C. When he graduated high school he attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where he graduated with honors on May 12, 1990. After college he soon told his parents that he was going to take his yellow Datsun and travel with it all summer. On July 10, 1990 Chris abandons his car setting off on his journey to Alaska on foot. Throughout his journey Chris rarely has many encounters with the inside world, except for the random people who see him hitchhiking and give Chris a ride to where he needs to go. On May 1, 1992 Chris stumbles upon an old abandoned bus to which he caps out in. Death takes over Chris McCandless’s life in August of 1992. Both McCandless and Thoreau shared the idea of transcendentalism (a 19th century idealistic social movement that taught that religion pervades all nature and humanity).
In the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau this book is about how Thoreau spends 2 years in Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts working on a pond project. He announces the end of the project on September 6, 1847. Both Thoreau and Krakauer’s Into the Wild talk about entering a solitary existence in order to find the true meaning of life. While both Walden and Into the Wild are different because of their approaches in the pursuit of the solitary life, it would later determine their very separate fates. Thoreau and Krakauer’s writing are similar through these themes nature, materialism, independence, and preparation. Both Thoreau and McCandless set out on a quest to find themselves it gives them an idea of how they feel they should live.