The Crucible Opinion Paper

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The Young & The Reckless

When you think of children, what was the first thing that comes to mind? Reckless? Young? Naïve? Gullible? Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, is a book written about an extraordinary but childlike man who set out on a quest, looking for an adventure of being surrounded by nature. Chris McCandless, who the book is based off of, was a man of wonder. No one was ever certain about what he thought, how he felt, or why he went on this suicide journey. Was it because of his childlike recklessness? Or was it something deeper? Chris McCandless was reckless and along with that came passion, loneliness, and despair. So, can we really judge him when he made the decision to live in the most wild parts of the Alaskan state?

McCandless, to most people who live in Alaska and have heard little about his journey, believed it was his arrogance and questioned state of mind are the reasons why he failed this trip and ended up dying. I believe it was his passion and loneliness. McCandless had the drive to live the way life was described in the eyes of his heros like Tolstoy and Thoreau, determined to do it even if it killed him. Krakauer writes, "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. He had fled the claustrophobic confines of his family. He’d successfully kept Jan Burres and Wayne Westerberg at arm’s length, flitting out of their lives before anything was expected of him. And now he’d slipped painlessly out of Ron Franz’s life as well,” (Krakauer 55). This passage tells you about McCandless’s deep problems with intimacy, which is connected to and ultimately the reason why his two-year journey for meaning and peace ended fatally. During these two years, McCandless meets lots of other’s but he always managed to maintain a certain distance because if he were to be influenced or...
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