Into the Wild tells so much about the person Chris McCandless was, his story, and the tragedy of it all. But only a few chapters explain how he became the way he did and how it led him to do some of the things he did. He thought differently, worked at a different pace, and embraced life unlike any other. But, why? Many things in Chris’ life shaped him and made him the way he was before his tragic ending.
Chris was always fearless. On page 109, it talks about how Chris’ father, Walt, took Chris on a three day hike, when he was eight, in the Shenandoah to climb Old Rag. Then Walt talks about how himself, his wife, kids from the other marriage, and Chris went to climb Long Peaks in Colorado. At 13,000 feet, Walt wanted to turn around and go back but Chris wanted to keep going. He would’ve risked the dangerous path. Even later on, when he left to Alaska, he would take risks and do dangerous things. Walt had said, “He didn’t think the odds applied to him.” He had no fears, and he did what he wanted.
Chris never followed rules nor listened to anyone. He did his own thing at his own pace and the majority of the time, he was better at it than anyone else. But he’d also get into trouble. Chris got an F in high school physics because he refused to write a paper in the format the teacher wanted. This same characteristic can be seen later on during his trip, when he worked at McDonalds, he would work at a slow pace all the time but he’d always show up on time. He got into the habit of doing things how he wanted to do them when he was younger and that’s how it always stayed.
Chris’ friend, Gillmer, explained how he would think a lot about “heavy-duty stuff.” It seems that Chris always wants to help and do things that are farther than his reach and bigger than him. His friends talk about how he’d walk around Washington talking to prostitutes and homeless people. He once tried to convince his friends to help stop the racial oppression in South Africa. He was a...
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