Character Analysis In Into The Wild, By Jonathan Krakauer

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Life, it’s a journey we are all born into. Some of us grasp onto life and use its full potential, as others take the high road and use life as a chance of self exploration. The novel, “Into the Wild,” portrays a college graduate and successful homebody, Jonathan McCandless, taking a life’s journey that not even his parents expected. This character analysis will showcase how even in life when one is given everything, that we all have a choice to make our own path in life. The character analysis will also shine light on McCandless psyche, home life and the psychological theory to the why, behind his self exploration.
Following him through his final years, Krakauer was able to discover, through interviews with people McCandless met and letters
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Although strengthening the relationship with his parents after high school, it eventually deteriorated to where he would become angry more often and become more withdrawn. As a result, this showcases how McCandless could not relate to the life his parents had nor the life his parents had set for him. In an essay written through the psychological view of Into the Wild the author states that “you don’t need human relationships to be happy, God has placed it all around us” (Room 701, 2008). This statement evinces how McCandless chose to go and venture off into what “God has placed around us” to look for happiness rather than relying on “human relationships” to provide him with happiness. This provides the possibility of the lack of love he felt from his parents to be the reason as to why he chose to run away from society. McCandless felt his “childhood seem[ed] like a fiction”(Krakauer, 1996, Pg.123) due to when he found out the messy details of his father's first marriage making him feel as though he had been lied to his whole childhood. This was a cause of the dwindling relationship between him and his …show more content…
One author which he read often and had some of his books at the site of his death was Jack London. McCandless had been fascinated with Jack London ever since childhood even stating that “Jack London is king”(Krakauer, 1996, Pg. 9). His fascination with London’s stories may have galvanized McCandless to begin his adventures into the wild and begin exploring. In a critical essay written by Caroline Hannsen, she believes that “McCandless saw Alaska as a place of freedom and adventure. He dreamed of its backroads as the route to self-realization, fancying himself a modern-day amalgamation of his literary idols” (Hannsen, 2011). This shows how he might have used this journey as a method of comparing himself to the characters of the books he read. This also backs up the belief that he used his trip to Alaska as a path to “self-realization.”
Overall, McCandless was a well rounded man, and intelligent with a free spirit at heart. Regardless of having knowledge and a well rounded upbringing, McCandless’s free spirit left him homeless, hungry and deceased on an abandoned school bus. Thanks to Krakauer, he gives insight to McCandless life and sense of adventure, leaving the audience questioning McCandless’s intent to his overall self discovery mission, that left him for

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