Dawn MB Nyberg
Ever wonder what it would be like to be snow-bound, scared, alone, cold and hungry out in the wilderness of Alaska? Christopher McCandless knew and he knew it well; he knew that feeling so well, that he died.
I don’t think he was a man with a mental illness or any personality disorders; even though Jon Krakauer states that,”it’s not clear that much of values is learned by reducing Chris McCandless’s strange spiritual quest to a list of pat psychological disorders.”(184) I do, however think Chris lived a life according to his parent’s wishes up until he graduated from Emory University when he decided to become “his own person” and venture out on his own “sabbatical”; completely opposite of his parents wishes.
As author Jon Krakauer points out, “Chris spent the previous four years, as he saw it, preparing to fulfill an absurd and onerous duty: to graduate from college. At long last he was unencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and of material excess, a world in which he felt grievously cut off from the raw throb of existence.”(22)
Chris seemed to be well-liked wherever he went and among whomever he came across in his travels. Even though he made up a fictitious name for himself, I believe that we all can be whomever we choose to be whether we use the name our parents gave us or not. He never used anyone else’s social security number and when he filled out the W-4 form at Wayne Westerburg’s the second time, he did give his real name, and permanent address as well. (100). Chris seemed to be a young man that needed to run away and find who he really was after being someone who his parents wanted him to be his whole life, unfortunately it came to a tragic end.
When thinking about Chris’s life and comparing it to mine, I find that our lives are quite the opposite. He comes from the family that wanted to basically make sure...