Intro the Wild Discussion

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Jon Krakauer’s book, Intro the Wild, has this controversial character that raised different opinions about his main personage, Chris McCandless. While some fiercely defend Chris as this open-minded and selfless person, others ferociously argue that he was an ill-prepared and arrogant individual unworthy of the reader’s empathy. According to the first group, their vision of Chris McCandless as being this selfless, open-minded, honest and well-prepared individual justifies seeing Chris as an individual worthy of empathy and respect. First, according to them, Chris was a deeply honest person who wasn’t afraid of the truth even though it made him uncomfortable sometimes. Second, they state that he was worthy of admiration because he was a selfless individual who was able to touch and assist many needy fellows, while he was living as a tramp. They also claim that he was an open-minded person who was willing to learn from his mistakes and miscalculations, from people’s advice and all the books he could find on his way. Finally, they state that he was this bright and well-prepared person, and whose death cannot be blamed on his lack of information. Even though this group arguments sound very well-founded, Chris McCandless was an arrogant, ill-prepared and deceiving individual whom made reckless and childish decisions which cost him his life. The only point that I believe that Chris McCandless admirers are right to state is that he was a truly honest person. His honesty was visible on several occasions. This honesty is illustrated many times as the story goes on. A few months after Chris’s body was found while talking to Krakauer in Carthage, South Dakota, Westerberg says “If he started a job, he’d finish it. It was almost like a moral thing for him. He was what you’d call extremely ethical. He set pretty high standards for himself” (Krakauer 18). I believe that what Westerberg meant is that Chris McCandless was an extremely honest person. And that he would always try to give the best of himself. No matter what was the situation he would always try to be real to himself, and in what he believed. For him being honest with himself came before than being honest with people around him. I think that was the best point of Chris’s personality. Even though the truth might bother him we would still stick to his beliefs. That can be seen when two nights before he left for Alaska, Westerberg did everything in his power to make him give up on that trip. Mrs. Westerberg recalls “Unlike most of us, he was the sort of person who insisted on living out his beliefs” (Krakauer 67). Mrs. Westerberg wanted to clarify that usually we give up on our dreams as time goes by, but it was different with Chris. He would get stuck on something and as long he wouldn’t accomplish it, he wouldn’t let it go. Sometimes this kind of stubbornness can be seen as something good. We can clearly see that he was true to himself that he was honest about what he believed in. But at the same time its common knowledge that things in life don’t usually go according to our plans and sometimes being able to let things go doesn’t mean that we are less honest to ourselves. I believe that is clear in both examples that McCandless was a very truthful and honest person about his beliefs, and he would go to the end of the world to prove himself right.

Chris McCandless cherishers are extremely misguided when they affirm that Chris was a selfless person. In fact, Intro the Wild exposes him as a selfish and self-centered person. His actions lead people to the thought that he didn’t care about no one but himself. Krakauer clearly illustrated this point when on March 14, Franz left McCandless on the edge of Interstate 70 outside Grand Junction and returned to southern California. Krakauer writes, “He had fled the claustrophobic confines of his family. […] And now he’d slipped painlessly out of Ron Franz’s life as well. Painlessly, that is, from McCandless’s perspective-although not...
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