A Reflection on the Actions of Alex in into the Wild

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After reading about McCandless’ adventure in Into the Wild, I’m a little on the fence about his decision to leave himself at the whim of nature. I agree somewhat with the statements that accuse McCandless of being wildly romantic, but I don’t agree with the opinion that he was arrogant. I’m sure he did not completely know what he was up against when making the decision to trek to Alaska, but Alex did attempt to educate himself on techniques of living off of the land. In his book, Krakauer mentions a few times how the boy would ask local hunters about catching game. And it wasn’t as if McCandless thought he would survive either. He sent letters to at least two of the people he met while on the road, letters which stated that he might not come back from his Alaskan trip. He was a boy of ideals. Alex didn’t get carried away by his dreams; he followed them, something people no longer seem to do. I’m not like him. I’m not driven by passion the way Alex seemed to be, but there are some matters of his opinion that parallel with mine.

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One of the first things that caught my attention was Alex’s rant against his parents when they wanted to buy him a car. He made a valid argument: the car still ran, it never failed him, it was still in pretty good condition. He didn’t need a new car, therefore he didn’t want one. I react the same way when my parents offer to get me something I don’t necessarily need. In August, when I was preparing all of my things to go to college, my mom was listing a bunch of items that I would “need,” although they were more like luxuries. It would have been a waste of time and money, really, to buy things like a coffeemaker or a fan. For one, I don’t drink coffee. Also, I can deal with high temperatures pretty well on my own.

 Another item that struck a chord with me was when Alex burned the last of his money. I still thought it was a little absurd, but I also admired the act a little bit. I hate money, or rather, I hate how we live in a world ruled by paper. And if I could, I would like to live without it, but not in the way McCandless attempted to do so. I am certainly not the outdoorsy type. If there were a way to somehow place the concept of money towards the back of one’s mind rather than in the forefront, I feel like people could probably live a less restricted type of life. Many choices that are made today are run by money. I tried to apply to a job a few weeks ago. Not because I wanted to, but because I knew I needed the money. I didn’t think much about it, nor did I receive a call back and, quite frankly, I’m relieved. The last thing I want is to spend time working at a place I hate, especially with no previous work experience. This is one of many aspects where McCandless and I differ. He wanted that trip to Alaska and he also knew he needed money, but he was willing to work. 

Regarding how Alex looked at people and favored their company, well, I believe everyone is like that. Social interaction is what everyone craves, on different levels, of course. Sources in Krakauer’s book theorize that while McCandless liked comapny, he also feared being tied down by intimate relations. That’s common in many folks. As for me, I like being in people’s company, but I’m also really shy, so I wouldn’t appeal to people in the way that Alex did. In fact, I hardly have any friends since I came to California, which is a little sad, but I think it’s that fear of commitment that might be getting to me. I like having a lot of free time, even if I don’t spend it as radically as Alex did. Having to dedicate some time to hang out with new friends, I can’t necessarily say I want to do that even though I do want friends.

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A Reflection on the Actions of Alex in Into the Wild. (2022, Oct 05). Retrieved December 7, 2022 , from

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