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Into the Wild

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Brendan Ortiz
Ms. Woelke
ERWC 414
13 December 2012
Into The Wild “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us,” (Henry Thoreau). Throughout history there has been an allure for high-risk activities for young men of a certain mind. As you will find out many of these young men had there similarities and difference’s two McCandless but one thing each one of them had in common with one another is that these high risk activities pulled them in because of their beliefs and ideals. Chris McCandless just like the rest of these young men left everything to go into the wild. The difference between Chris and these men was their beliefs. Chris McCandless believed in becoming a free spirit unlocking the chains that society uses to restrain and snare mankind, also in becoming pure, and ultimately becoming reborn because society is corrupted, evil, brain washing, and wrong. Chris McCandless passionately pursued his ideals of becoming a free spirit, and becoming pure. Wealth was something he struggled with intimately “wealth was shameful, corrupting, inherently evil-which is ironic because Chris was a natural-born capitalist,”(Krakauer 115). To understand why he wanted to be free you must first understand what he believed in by becoming pure. Chris although he was a “natural born,” capitalist, this was not actually natural Chris. What do I mean by that? Well society pressures others to become something they are inherently not. An example of this is that when Chris was young he grew and sold vegetables to his neighbors for money, this is not something a kid would do naturally, because naturally there is no money therefore society puts the ideas into Chris’s head to sell these vegetables and be good at it. So what Chris believes in by purity is that he wants to rid himself of the pressures, thoughts, habits, and natures of society. An example of this would be a job it’s a habit that you do everyday, a pressure you feel to make money, you think you have to make money in order to survive, and the nature is greed or the lust for money. Chris wanted more then this and he wanted to be rid of these corruptions in his life becoming pure. He accomplished this when he want into the wild, and began his “Conscious attention to the basics of life,”(168). Paying attention to the pure basics of life ultimately sets you free. What I mean by this is that you are free to roam and ponder your mind and become what ever you want to be, your free to decide what’s right and what’s wrong, your free to choose your own path, your own success etc. When you are distracted by the corrupting nature of materialistic objects such as money, jewelry, cars, and more you are not free to ponder what’s ultimately important because money, jewelry, and other things are shallow and are distractions which keep you trapped inside the distraction. Why do you become trapped inside this distraction? Well you can never be satisfied by these distractions so you continue to search for more distractions until you are satisfied but you will die before these things satisfy you. In the end you’re wasting life on what does not matter. This is why McCandless feels the need to be set free, because he is trapped inside the distractions just like everyone else in society is up until he becomes purified and therefore set free, this is only accomplished by entering a more native state or the wild in this case, giving McCandless all the reason’s he needs to entre the wild. Chris’s Ultimate reason to step into the wild is to become reborn into a better human being, so he may prove to himself and society that societies way of life is wrong that you will not be happy this way, you will be just corrupt and unsatisfied. But to become reborn you must become free in your thoughts and emotions, to become free you must become purified, to become purified you must rid yourself of corruptions “I am reborn. This is my dawn. Real life has just begun,”(168). This quote states that Chris becomes reborn mid way through his journey in Alaska because he has had free thought for an extended period of time. The reason why he needs this extended period of time is so he can ponder and find himself, find what means something to him, find what makes him happy, and his purpose. The reason why he must be purified to do this is because when you are corrupted your nature is changed by definition, and therefore are not yourself, so you cannot find yourself when you are distracted being someone or something else. The reason why you must be out in the wilderness to become purified is because out in a native state there is nothing to distract you, nothing to corrupt you, therefore you are at your truest nature, therefore you can become reborn after an extended exposure to purification and freedom. Giving McCandless the reason he needs to step into the wild, the reason he needs to pursue his beliefs and ideals. Everyone in society is a different person so everyone needs to ponder upon different thoughts, and experiences to become reborn. But the things they create, such as their luxuries, their money, their jobs etc. corrupts everyone in society. Because everyone in society is living the same life style even though they have different lives. Therefore they are corrupting themselves because they are all different acting the same as someone or something else corrupting their nature. This is why McCandless leaves all of this behind so he may become reborn into something new, he saw the flaws in society he saw the like-mindedness of everyone in society. He saw the different people acting the same, but he also saw a way to become him self and to become true, he saw the wilderness.

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