In the novel Into The Wild, by Jon Krakauer, advances to catalog the life of an intelligent graduate student and former athlete, Chris McCandless. As well as how he suddenly decided to drop everything such as his possessions, all of his money, and a possible career. After realizing he didn’t need or want to continue to pursue a wealthy lifestyle, he sets out on a massive independant hitchhiking journey from the east coast, all the way towards the outdoor freezing portions of Alaska. Only after a short four months, 113 days, McCandless was found dead in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan summit by a few hikers, in which his cause of death became ruled as starvation. McCandless determines that he wants to course his life into the wild for reasons such as seeking different forms of adventure, a life without responsibilities, happiness, and to simply get away from his personal life in order to find peace of his own. Although he didn’t have enough supplies, and wasn’t fully prepared to enter a life in an unaccompanied solitary fate in the wild which resulted in him being a victim of his own demise.
First of all, Krakauer discusses how McCandless had an adventurous ego who wanted to exceed beyond his limits. Throughout his journey, he explains to individuals he meets along the way about his devotion towards adventuring to his own standards. For Instance, “The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure… The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun” (Krakauer 41). This indicates that McCandless wanted to look for something he could relate to. Watching a change of scenery and exploring new territory, proposes a different outcome of situations. He was most likely searching for answers in the unknown portions of the country, to find happiness. Not only to be in peace with nature, but with himself as well. Accomplishing what he felt like he wanted to do with no one telling him otherwise was a key thought in his state of mind. He wanted self discovery and identify his place in the world where he could fit in doing what he wanted to do.
Furthermore, McCandless wanted to set out on a quest and find purpose in life without responsibilities. He had spent his early life in college, playing sports and achieving good grades. That is when he realized that what life would be like if one didn’t have to do the same thing over and over, and have someone tell him what to do. For example, No phone. No pool. No pets. No cigarettes. Ultimate freedom… No longer to be poisoned by civilization, he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become Lost in the Wild” (Krakauer 163). This demonstrates that he was in belief that life would become easier for him if he left everything behind and started a new life on his own with no one telling him otherwise, or how to live his life. To have no control over necessities or worries on a quality level was the easiest direction he thought he could head in. Also, his dissatisfaction with the current world of society, especially since he came from the upper class. He gave introverted behavior by wanting to leave civilization and barrier himself from the rest of the world.
Moreover, one of the most important reasons why he left to explore further West was the need to get away from his home. His previous life consisted of a wealthy first class family, in which he was not in a very fond relationship with. McCandless seemed to avoid mentioning them hence why he maybe went by an alias of Alexander Supertramp. He decided to continue his journey so he couldn’t feel like he was being controlled anymore. For instance, “Children tend to be harsh judges when it comes to their parents…and this was especially true in Chris’s case. More even than most teens, he tended to see things in black and white. He measured himself and those around him by an impossibly rigorous moral code” (Krakauer 122). Growing up in a first class family, he must of felt snared within his parents grasp, making it feel like he has to do things under their standards and satisfaction instead of achieving his own goals. Since, he was in a community where there was always people around him, he wanted to become self sufficient and survive on his own since he had no experience with that. Living in a society where one isn’t supervised or judged is what McCandless was going for.
To conclude, I believe that Chris McCandless went into the wild to seek peace, but only sustained it for a short period of time. Despite that he lasted two years away from home but only 113 days in the bitter wilderness, he was short on supplies and wasn’t prepared enough to fully intake the difficulties and requirements in order to truly survive into the wild. He may have found what he was looking for, had found motivation that encouraged him to move forward. But, the rest of his story and true aspects will remain unknown since his journey had a tragic unfortunate end. Overall, his true ideal hopes and expectations heading into the wild were his strong interest for adventure, a life without control or authority, and to leave his personal life behind to find a new place of tranquility of his own.
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