AP English 11
Chris’s Bonds with the Transcendentalists
Transcendentalism is a long word to describe very free-minded people. Throughout the novel “Into the Wild” Chris McCandless, the main character, ventures off into the wild to experience nature at a personal level. Chris comes from a household in which personal relationships, between him and his parents, were not present. While living in this environment, Chris never really felt as if he belonged. It did not take too long before Chris had packed up his bags with nothing but a rifle, rice, and a roadmap and was off into the wilderness. The actions and thoughts in which Chris had experienced resembled those of a transcendentalist thinker. The most distinct three transcendentalists in whom he coincided with include: Whitman, Thoreau, and Emerson.
During Chris’s journey, he spent the fair majority of his time camping out or exploring what nature had to offer him. Miles and miles from home, Chris had started to feel a little sense of relief. Whitman was a strong believer in the idea of separation of oneself from everything in order to feel relieved and free to learn and understand who they truly are. This technique helps one to truly get to know themselves and the person that they actually are, not who they are when they are living under the standards of society. Once Chris had reached a resting place far enough away from home the author described his state as follows, “He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life. He was alone and young and willful and wildhearted, alone amid a waste of wild air and brackish waters and the seaharvest of shells and tangled and veiled grey sunlight” (31). This helps to reveal that as Chris got farther and farther into the wilderness and away from society he was overjoyed and all wrapped up in nature and what it has to offer. Whitman himself also spent a sufficient amount of time amongst nature. His spot was in a dark and somber swamp, a place in...