The Romanticized Boy of the Wild

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After blowing some dust off the counter and inscribed plaque, you may find writings by a brilliant man. As you look out the window of an abandoned bus that was made into a temporary shelter in the Alaskan bush, located in the vast of white wilderness, you may wonder, “What was Christopher McCandless thinking?” McCandless began his fatal journey in 1990 after graduating from Oxford University and always had an urge to move and be nomadic. When Jon Krakauer published an article regarding Chris McCandless’ death in the Outside magazine, letters began pouring in from all around the nation. Many people believed Chris was a hero for following his dreams while others, like Craig Medred, believed Chris was a dumb teenager who hurt himself and others around him. In his article “McCandless’ Story Isn’t Really Told in the Book or the Film,” Craig Medred concludes Chris was mentally ill. Medred argues that Krakauer simply romanticized a schizophrenic man for solely one purpose: to benefit his writing; however, I disagree with Medred’s allegations to Krakauer and McCandless and believe Chris did what he felt was right: follow his dream.

“Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it difficult to tell the difference between real and unreal experiences, to think logically, to have normal emotional responses, and to behave normally in social situations.” (Schizophrenia, Google Health) There never was a time in the novel that Chris showed no emotion. For example, when Chris shot a moose in the wild and didn’t know how to properly preserve it and it spoiled; he expressed, “… I now wish I had never shot the moose. One of the greatest tragedies of my life.” (Krakauer, 167). Remorse, is that not a normal emotional response? Chris’s love for nature got in his way when he tried to feed himself because he felt we didn’t need to kill and eat other animals. Many still believe Chris to be mentally ill. “Many people have probably written about themselves in the third person at some...
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