Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer Essay
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Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Chris McCandless was just a victim of his own obsession. The novel "Into The Wild" written by John Krakauer revealed the life of a young bright man named Chris McCandless who turned up dead in Alaska in summer 1992. In the novel, John Krakauer approached carefully McCandless's life without putting too much authorial judgment to the readers. Although Chris McCandless remained an elusive figure throughout the novel, I can see Chris McCandless as a dreamy young idealist who tries to follow his dream but failed because of his innocent mistake which prove to be fatal and irreversible. Still, Chris McCandless's courage and passion was something that we should all be proud of.
When Chris McCandless's…show more content…
Chris McCandless was possessed by a nomadic existence and was trying to share his principle of life to his friend by telling that the truth about life was to explore the nature. Chris McCandless's last letter to Wayne revealed his true passion of nature. "This is the last you shall hear from me...I now walk into the wild"(pg 69). Some people concluded that it was Chris McCandless's suicide letter. However, in my opinion, Chris McCandless was just a victim of his own ego, pride and confidence that made him to neglect basic precautions that keep one person alive. He was controlled by his own delusions and that made him eager to test himself into strenuousness which proved fatal to him.
Chris McCandless was a true adventurer. He went to his journeys mostly by foot and would not take any chance to cheat it. He bought an aluminum canoe at Arizona and paddled down the Colorado River, and nearly drowning in rough water in the Gulf of California. In his journal, he writes ."..It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found. God it's great to be alive! Thank you. Thank you" (pg37). His confession in his journal proved that he had no regrets of what he had done even though it almost cost him his life. He also turned down Wayne's offer to buy him an airplane ticket to
Into the Wild is the true story of Chris McCandless, a young Emory graduate who is found dead in the Alaskan wilderness in September 1992, when he is twenty-four. McCandless grows up in wealthy Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., and is a very gifted athlete and scholar, who from an early age shows deep intensity, passion, and a strict moral compass. After graduating from high school McCandless spends the summer alone on a road trip across the country, during which he discovers that his father secretly had a second family during Chris’s childhood. McCandless returns home and starts as a freshman at Emory, but his anger over this betrayal and his parents’ keeping it from him grows worse over time.
By the time that McCandless is a senior at Emory, he lives monastically, has driven away most of his friends with his intensity and moral certitude, and barely keeps in touch with his parents. He lets his parents think that he is interested in law school, but instead, after graduating with honors, he donates his $25,000 savings anonymously to charity, gets in his car, and drives away without telling anyone where he is going, abandoning the use of his real name along the way. He never contacts his parents or sister, Carine, again.
Not too long after leaving Atlanta, McCandless deserts his car in the desert after a flash flood wets the engine, and from then on, he hitchhikes around the Northwest, getting jobs here and there but not staying anywhere for long, often living on the streets, and keeping as little money and as few possessions as he can. During this time he gets to know a few people rather closely, and everyone admires his intensity and willingness to live completely by his beliefs, but he avoids true intimacy.
After about two years of itinerant travel, McCandless settles on a plan to go to Alaska and truly live in the wilderness, completely alone, and with very few supplies, to see if he can do it, to push himself to the very extremes. He spends a few months preparing, learning all he can about hunting, edible plants, etc, and then he leaves South Dakota, where he’d been working, and hitchhikes to Fairbanks. Those whom he tells about the plan all warn him that he needs to be better prepared, or should wait until later in the spring, but he is adamant and stubborn.
In April of 1992 McCandless gets dropped off near Mt. McKinley, and hikes into the wilderness. He spends the next sixteen weeks hunting small game, foraging, reading, and living in a deserted bus made to be a shelter for hunters, not seeing a single human the entire time. He is successful for the most part, although he loses significant weight. In late July, however, McCandless probably eats some moldy seeds, and the mold contains a poison that essentially causes him to starve to death, no matter how much he eats, and he is too weak to gather food anyway. McCandless is quickly incapacitated by the poison. Realizing he is going to die, he writes a goodbye message, and a few weeks later some hunters find his body in the bus.