August 26, 2014
Into the Wild Essay
The book I read was Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, a book explaining the exciting story of a nineteen year old boy named Chris McCandless. Chris was born into a wealthy family with siblings; Chris later attended Emory where he would already start to isolate himself from others. Isolating himself from others would eventually cause Chris to make a journey he would later regret and not return from. This will show how humans are not meant for isolation and it will not lead into anything helpful and won’t turn out in your favor. The first way Chris isolated himself was during school. In the book, it says, “Chris lived off campus in his bare, spartan room furnished with milk crates and a mattress on the floor” (Krakauer 86). This shows that instead of being in a dorm surrounded by friends and staff, he chose to stay off campus on his own. We know he can afford a dorm since his family is rich, but he refuses to let his family buy him anything to help him. It also says in the text that, “A professor gave him a key for after-hours access to the library, where he spent much of his free time” (Krakauer 86). This evidence explains that instead of being around people and going places he is in a library with no one in it since it’s after hours. This shows he wants to be alone, because later in the text its goes on to say that, “Andy Horowitz, his close high school friend and cross-country teammate, bumped into Chris among the stacks early one morning just before graduation. Although Horowitz and McCandless were classmates at Emory, it had been two years since they’d seen each other. They talked for a few minutes, then McCandless disappeared into carrel” (Krakauer 86). This was a close friend of Chris’s in high school but instead of talking to see how he is and get together he just disappears, showing that he doesn’t want anyone around him. It also shows that he enjoys isolation and this is where he would also start to isolate himself not only from friends but family to. The second way Chris isolates himself is by getting away from his parents. “When they arrived at his apartment, it was empty and a FOR RENT sign was taped to the window” (Krakauer 17). This shows that Chris didn’t even tell his parents where he was going because he doesn’t want anyone knowing, and this way his parents can’t follow him or stop him. Earlier in the text it said “And he didn’t have a phone, so Walt and Billie had no way of calling him” (Krakauer 18). This shows that Chris wanted no one to contact him and this way he could get away from everyone without them knowing, and his parents wouldn’t be able to go chasing him down, forcing him to come back. The last way Chris isolated himself from his parents was by leaving, in the text it says “Walt and Billie returned home to find that all the letters they’d sent their son that summer had been returned in a bundle.” (Krakauer 17). This is showing that Chris didn’t even talk to his parents before he left and that any mail he got from them was just sent back but not until August first so they didn’t know anything was up. Chris would later regret isolating himself when the time comes though. After isolating himself from friends and family he came to realize that isolation is not for him and he shouldn’t have done this. The first way Chris shows regret is when writing the S.O.S note, the text says, “S.O.S. I NEED YOUR HELP. I AM INJURED, NEAR DEATH, AND TOO WEAK TO HIKE OUT OF HERE I AM ALL ALONE, THIS IS NO JOKE. IN THE NAME OF GOD, PLEASE REMAIN TO SAVE ME. I AM OUT COLLECTING BERRIES CLOSE BY AND SHALL RETURN THIS EVENING. THANK YOU, CHRIS MCCANDLESS. AUGUST?” (Krakauer 11). After writing this you can tell that Chris is actually about to die and since there is nothing else all he can rely on is someone walking by to help. This shows he is in a desperate need for help and needs some type of miracle. Next in the book it says, “Reality, however, was quick to intrude on McCandless’s reverie” (Krakauer 112). This explains that what Chris thought to be easy was actually very hard. This realization would make him have a second thought about everything, and what he has done. After being in the wild for sometime in the book it says, “At that point he gave up on preserving the bulk of the meat and abandoned the carcass to the wolves” (Krakauer 114). This shows the troubles Chris had trying to find and preserve food. Also how he regrets killing the moose because he wasted its life and became unable to save any food for later. This is when Chris knew this wasn’t going his way and isolation isn’t meant for humans. This caused Chris to make a mistake to eat a bad plant and this is when he died in his sleeping bag from starvation. This proves that without the help of civilization and the help of others you don’t have a good chance at surviving unless your Bear Grylls.
Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor, 1997. Print.