Chris Mccandless, The Hero In Into The Wild, By Sean Penn

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In Sean Penn’s film “Into the Wild”, Christopher McCandless, is not a hero. Throughout the movie there are times he can be more of an antagonist: influencing the people he meets to see their own lives through the same lenses he views his own. Furthermore, throughout the film Chris struggles with two evils. He faces the evil in society of Man vs. Man. The constant need for materialistic possessions, success, wealth, and prominence. The struggle against power, control, and laws which govern our society. He also faces Man vs. Nature: the idea of facing the unknown and fighting against weather, animals, food, shelter, and pure survival. Chris decided his spiritual cleanse needed to come in a bout with nature, not versus society. He picked the …show more content…
The moment he re-enters the city life, you can see the uneasiness, and tension in his demeanor. He has a moment not of clarity, but I think of impulse where he runs into the city and thinks he should give society another try. Chris goes down to a mission center or homeless shelter and asks for information on how to apply for a state issue ID, and social security card. He even signs up for a bed, and a meal for the next morning. He goes for a walk and stops by a restaurant where he sees a man a little older than him but on the same path Chris envisioned himself after he graduated college. The thought of becoming like that man, or his father angered, and terrified him so much he decides to continue his path to the Alaskan wild. The incident on the train where the enforcement agent roughs him up and tells him basically there are rules and he’s breaking them. The agent warns Chris if he breaks the rules again the consequences will be more severe. Another interesting scene in the movie, where Chris wanted to goes canoeing down the river, however, the wait would take twelve years, he decided to break the rules again and go down the river without a license. My issue with Chris reoccurs throughout the movie, he does whatever convenient him. He wanted to live in his own world: lawless, limitless, without control or structure. His sister mentioned in the beginning of …show more content…
His actions, ideas, and beliefs of family had a direct impact on the Jan, Rainey, Ron, and his own family. In the beginning of the movie Christopher renames himself Alexander Supertramp, abandoning his “right” name, to free himself from even the origin of his family. He meets Ron France, an older gentleman who lost his family to a drunk driver when he was off at war. Chris’ idea of freedom for Ron was to leave his workshop and explore life outside of his home. Chris believed he needed to re-enter society and become a part of, instead of apart from. Oddly enough Chris detached himself from society to find freedom, he wanted to be as far away from society as possible to find his true self. The reoccurring theme of control and power, and how the more we are tied to society and it’s values the less control we have over own lives. Chris believed he gained insight into other people and knew what was best for them, when he did not even know what was best for himself. He encounters a hippie couple, Jan and Rainey, and Chris’ presence only brought back sad memories for Jan because she lost her son and in the end Chris left her the same way her son did. When Chris goes to visit Jan and Rainey again in Slab City, she admits to him she had a son around Chris’ age who faced a similar emotional challenge and decided to set out on his own spiritual voyage never to be seen or heard from again.

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