ERWC Period 1
15 January 2015
In the book, Into The Wild, written by Jon Krakauer, he provides his audience with the life story of a young man who grew up in a materialistic, demanding, and hypocritical world. Due to this, he developed into someone who wanted to stray away from society’s common and stereotypical ideals. He no longer wanted to follow the life that his parents had laid out for him. He did not desire perfection or rules. McCandless did not value money, cars, clothes, or even his family. What he did value was nature and what he believed it offered to society. He had his own American dream, unlike the rest, and that was to discover his truth in life by pursuing a nomadic lifestyle all on his own.
After completing college, McCandless set out into the wild, in search of himself. He was looking for his opportunity to express his values and ideas. He was seeking freedom, from his parents, from money, and from civilization. McCandless knew that this power and freedom was not attainable by remaining where he was. “The only way he cared to tackle a challenge was head-on, right now, applying the full brunt of his extraordinary energy” (Krakauer, P.111). He went into the wild with this mindset exactly. McCandless began his journey and settled in Lake Mead, California, where he was greeted with a flash flood. This lead to his only valuable belonging being damaged, his 1982, yellow Datsun B210. “Instead of feeling distraught over this turn of events, moreover, McCandless was exhilarated: He saw the flash flood as an opportunity to shed unnecessary baggage” (Krakauer, P.29). This demonstrates McCandless’s independent and brave character, and accentuates his goal, which was to, “wallow in unfiltered experience” (Krakauer, P.23). It also emphasizes his ambition and willingness to succeed. In order to be successful, in McCandless’s case, it was by becoming one with nature, in complete seclusion. He desired the ability to become in touch with himself and the environment that was in front of him. In the process of this, he believed that acquiring triumph would lead to him inventing a new life for himself. Chris McCandless soon became Alexander Supertramp.
Before the corpse of McCandless was discovered in Alaska, he had accomplished much traveling, befriending, discovering, and had obtained much satisfaction. “His life hummed with meaning and purpose” (Krakauer, P.184). And so it did, throughout his entire odyssey. Chris McCandless did what he wanted to do, which was to live with nature, for as long as he could. He did not have his parents telling him what to do, money encouraging him to spend, or a world which caused him to feel, “grievously cut off from the raw throb of existence” (Krakauer, P.22). This was everything that he had longed for. Taking this into consideration, it is apparent that he did find what he was seeking for before he died. McCandless made it to Alaska, and he attempted to survive. “He demanded much of himself- more, in the end, than he could deliver” (Krakauer, P.184). Although he was not able to keep himself in this world, he pushed himself to his fullest extent, and did not stop until he reached his breaking point. He was determined to conquer the journey that he had set out on. He did conquer it, and he did so with the same mindset that he had started the journey with. No help from anyone, but himself. McCandless did have the strength to stray completely away from the life he grew up living in. He died with the realization that he did find himself, and that he got what he had hoped from his adventure. Chris concludes his journey with a statement, “I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD. GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL” (Krakauer, P.199). This statement proves to the audience that he did, in fact, discover what he was searching for when he went into the wild.
Chris McCandless was raised in the upper-middle class, where he got everything handed to him. He followed and obeyed his parent’s wishes until he graduated college. He could no longer live a life that he did not agree with. McCandless was turned off by materialistic things, he did not appreciate order, and he was disgusted by the hubris he was surrounded by. He wanted to disappear and discover himself in the wild. Chris McCandless did so, indeed. He experienced many things that he would not be able to in the world he lived in before. McCandless wanted to become one with nature, and he believed that is how he would be successful. In the end, he was successful. “Chris McCandless was at peace, serene as a monk gone to God” (Krakauer, P.199). Chris McCandless did discover his truth in life, by pursuing a nomadic lifestyle all on his own.