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John Krakauer, Into the Wild: Philosophical Journey or Suicidal Folly?

Compared with oriental people’s implicit quest for freedom and truth, people in western countries are more direct which means that they pursue their goals through practice. The book, Into the Wild, tells a story about a guy who had a philosophical journey. The book shows a process of a person’s spiritual growth: from the yearning for the absolute freedom, a kind of irrepressible impulse and force, to the yearning for the happiness. Maybe, at beginning, what Chris McCandless pursuing was the happiness, but he hadn’t realized it yet. But finally, he realized it. The sad childhood experiences of Chris McCandless underwent caused a dark side in his heart. With these experiences, he actively started to seek the significance of his life and to pursue the essence of happiness. At first, he thought that if he escaped from the hypocritical society he would gain freedom and the life he hoped. Therefore, he continued to seek broad natural space which was not bounded by social rules. “McCandless was thrilled to be on his way north, and he was relieved as well—relieved that he had again evaded the impending threat of human intimacy, of friendship, and all the messy emotional baggage that comes with it” (55). The reason why he abandoned all these things is because he wanted to pursue absolute freedom. Logically, however, it is impossible. People are related to the society since being born, and they can merely survive without connecting to the society and get necessary resources from it. We must depend on our society. Therefore, as the quotation describes, in other words, what Chris did was to escape from the society, the social law, the restriction of social responsibility, and the hypocritical relationship with people. He abandoned his old car, burned cash, and started on his exploration on foot. “I don’t need money. Make people caution. Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame,...
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