American Literature 1st
December 19th, 2013
Into the Mind of Chris McCandless
Schizophrenia is a widespread mental illness that affects over 2.4 million people in the United States alone. Like most people, they do not believe that they will ever be affected by this disease. And as for Jon Krakauer, the author of Into the Wild, believes that Chris McCandless, the main character in the book, did not have schizophrenia and that he was just an adventurer in over his head, although evidence will prove this inaccurate. Even though Krakauer writes that Chris is just an average adventurer, examining the evidence reveals that he is mentally ill, because he never came prepared to go into the wild, he acts out of character, talking about himself in the 3rd person, and he cut himself off from family and friends suddenly and without reason. These are all symptoms of schizophrenia, backing up the reasoning why Chris is suffering from this mental illness.
It should be an expert’s decision if Chris McCandless had schizophrenia, not Krakauer’s. Krakauer depicts Chris as an adventurer , stating that Chris did all the necessary things to survive, and that his death was just a matter of chance. With this, he is jumping to conclusions based off his opinions, and some of Chris’s actions will disprove that he was sane. Krakauer brings up that Chris was prepared to go into the wild by reading the book of edible plants in Alaska, but still this was not enough. His clothing was not warm, he carried very little food, and he had almost no knowledge of actually surviving in the wilderness. Preparing to die is not a normal human function. Jim Gallien, the truck driver who dropped Chris off on the Stampede Trail, begged him not to go on his ‘adventure’ because of how unprepared he was. Gallien even convinced Chris to take his boots and sandwiches, so that maybe he could survive one more night. Although Krakauer believes that Chris had thought this through, being so unprepared is not a...
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