Chris McCandless’s Life
Into the Wild is a thrilling book that rotates around Chris McCandless’s life. MacCaandless is a successful young college graduate who has money in the bank and a good job. He decided to give out all his belonging and walk away in the wilderness in response to his parent’s indiscretions and becoming homeless. McCandless’s father pushed his son to perfection which on his side felt it was really unfair. It is due to this fact that the character failed to cope with life then spitefully left all that he knew to find his new life. It finally lands him in the wilds of Alaska where he lives in a bus in which he passed away just before he could return to his former civilization life (Krakauer 11). From this point, it is evident enough that McCandless had a dream that he went out to fulfill. This paper intends to look at this dream extensively.
McCandless was pulled to the wilderness back nation like a magnet. The passion for the wild eventually led him to undertake a deadly journey to Alaska. The freedom carefree and vastness existence of the wilderness made him travel for long in the West although he did not have a clear destination in mind. He had feelings to start his new lifestyle without much restriction from parents. This is evident from the following statement,
"At long last he was unencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and material excess, a world in which he felt grievously cut off from the raw throb of existence (Krakauer 22).”
It may sound funny to some people. The reality is that he disliked all the material wealth that he has and only desire to be a free molecule in a free environment that exist in the wilderness. McCandless felt so much enclosed in the boredom of “everyday” survival and yearned to run away from it.
Immediately he got out of his college, he jumped into his vehicle and drove to the West to seek for a fresh and better living. It is from the writer’s point of view that he found liberation in his new environment. He had the freedom to drive to wherever he wanted in the wilderness for the next two months. This was quite contrary to his former life with the parents where he was given instructions on what to do and where to go. Krakauer says,
"McCandless tramped around the west for the next two months, spellbound by the scale and power of the landscape (Krakauer29).
This indicates that the character did not like living together with his parents and really wanted to get out and explore the world around him. He enjoyed the cool environment of the wilderness that did not experience any form of pollution from man. It was wonderful for him to experience such freedom to make decision and act according to his own wish. He never understood the fact that freedom may have negative impact if it is not controlled properly. The wilderness had greater space for him to do all that he required. Krakauer records that this freedom in the wilderness lured the character to death in the abandoned bus.
The writer believes that McCandless did not have any boundaries. He undertakes his ideas in his own version. McCandless does not care what other people say on his actions. He leaves his father a wealthy man and gives away all his material wealth just in pursuit for freedom. Although he showed himself to other people but he was extremely distant from them. He uses many helpful ways to the things he do. It is possible that he is a wild man and he never lives his life to fullest.
“It is easy, when you are young, to believe that what you desire is no less than what you deserve, to assume that if you want something badly enough, it is your God-given right to have it. When I decided to go to Alaska that April, like Chris McCandless, I was a raw youth who mistook passion for insight and acted according to an obscure, gap-ridden logic. I thought climbing the Devils Thumb would fix all that was wrong with my life. In the end, of course, it changed almost nothing. But I came to appreciate that mountains make poor receptacles for dreams. And I lived to tell my tale ( Into the wild 155”
McCandless never understood that after graduation it was necessary for him to think beyond the box for him survive. Instead he gave out all his belonging just because he wanted to experience a new life that he was not familiar with. This makes him face a meaningless puerile death; it indicates how naïve he was. On another account, the writer proves McCandless extremely heroic and courageous. It is almost impossible for a common person to take the resolutions he made. He put his life at risk to experience the possibility of the journey in his lifetime. However, this is brilliant. He positively affects the life of many people that he meets. Despite the fact that he was just a young man, he had the wisdom to make decision and follow his heart like an old man. He give words of enlightenment to whoever he meets, leaves them optimistic and positive towards his opinions (Krakauer 34). From his advice, one man decided to sell all his belongings including his house to go and leave in the middle of nowhere.
McCandless has a true American spirit. He felt unhappy with his situation and took up on the new life in a place he considered safe and free. He travelled through Arizona, Mexico, South Dakota, California and many other places. It is his belief that “The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences (Krakauer 128).” McCandless travelled to these areas in search of the unspoiled American Terrain. This led him to many life-threatening experiences. He travelled to several parts including the lower pacific where he realized that he was more insecure than when he was at home. He realized that he had disregarded the future to start living day-to-day life. He looked for a peaceful place where he could stay. Unfortunately, the peace he sought for was ‘peace’ that led to his death. In his letter to Ron, McCandless says
“…nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure (Krakauer 136).”
This statement gives the reason why he gave out all his wealth. He feels that wealth and future are the only destructive factors for an adventurous person.
McCandless is an example of people who are assertive. They make decision and follow their heart without depending on any external factors. According to him, he accomplished his mission in adventure. This is evident since he travelled through different parts of the Northern America including the Pacific Ocean where he used is boat until he felt insecure. He wanted to stay away from his parents and their rules after college. He managed to accomplish this mission when he jumped into his vehicle and drove away even without beading bye to his parents.
On the other hand, he failed terribly. The healthy adventurous man was found dead in an abandoned bus. This shows that his adventure did not bore better fruits as he thought at first. The freedom he wanted had cost him his life. Before he dies, he takes a photograph that shows him really emaciated. This indicates how he suffered in the wilderness. He managed to travel all along without food, shelter and other essential needs. It also gives the impression that the character did not pay attention to his father’s advice. It is due to this reason that he makes wrong decision, which leaves him dead in his early stages of life. It could be possible for him to adventure using his wealth that he gave away freely. He could have managed to tour, have wealth and live together with his parents happily.
|“Lives on the Boundary”||"The Catcher in the Rye"|
- "The Catcher in the Rye"
- "The Sex Slave Murders" by R.Barri
- “Lives on the Boundary”
- "Art of Contact Zone"