Chris Mccandless Character Analysis

Superior Essays
Chris McCandless’ actions can be seen as rebellious at first, but as time goes on, it is clear that there is hostility between his parents and himself that he does not want to face or try to fix. In a dysfunctional family, there are two extremes when it comes to the outcome of the children: the rebel or the conformist. Although the older child is typically the conformist and the younger child is the rebel, the McCandless family is a little different because both children are the rebels. Krakauer says, “Also like Chris, she clashed fiercely with Walt and Billie as an adolescent…[but] Carine made peace with her parents shortly after Chris disappeared” (129). There are many reasons as to why Carine did not turn into as big a rebel as Chris, but …show more content…
The main characteristic that he adopts from his parents is their narcissism. Walt and Billie McCandless are narcissistic because they see their children, especially Chris, as a project that they think they can work on and fix up. They have expectations for him that are never ending and they think they can buy his respect and devotion with materialistic items such a car. When they talk about Chris after he dies, Walt says, “How is it that a kid with so much compassion could cause his parents so much pain?” (Krakauer 104), and Billie says, “I just don’t understand why he had to take those kind of chances. I just don’t understand it at all”(Krakauer 132). They think about themselves and reflect on how Chris’ actions affect them when he dies. However, they fail to ask themselves why he would do such a thing and if it could have possibly been because of them. Both Walt and Billie do not understand that they are the cause for why Chris was so dysfunctional and rebellious which in turn led him to disown them …show more content…
One person that Chris was fond of especially was Jan Burres. She recalls that “he liked to tease me and torment me...like a little kid” (Krakauer 45), and she would mother him back by lecturing him because she cared about him and what he was doing. However, when Burres and her husband tried offering Chris more than a friendship, he became distant and left. Chris made many connections throughout his journey, but it is clear that he was constantly searching for a certain type of connection that he did not receive from his own parents. Even though his parents were not loving in the matter he needed and desired, he still found comfort and even surrogacy in Carine. She states that they learned to count on one another (Krakauer 107) and he states in a letter to her that she is was the only person that could possibly understand him (Krakauer 129). However, even Carine’s relationship could not sustain him enough to stay or even contact her when he disappeared. The dysfunctional background that Chris grew up with due to his parents is why he turned out the way he did, but if he looked closer at what type of people really cared about him then maybe he could have seen that they could have compensated for his parents’ lack of real love. Instead, he turns to a life of

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    She also says, “I would hate my father for having ever planted me,” which means that there might have been some animosity between the two. Whether she was abused or not is uncertain, but the fact remains that she had a severe lack of emotion. She did not believe in love, the word or the feeling. She describes her children as being an invasion of her “aloneness” and how she began to hate Anse after Darl was born. Her lack of emotion, as well as Anse’s general idiocy, could be the reason why the Bundren children suffer the way they do.…

    • 1040 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In fact, the daughter has a list of several positive things she likes about her dad. However, she also lists a lot of lies that her dad tells her such as his employment status. It is clear to see that their family don’t have many financial resources, but this hasn’t decrease the efforts of the dad to give the best life he can by making several sacrifices. To be honest, I cried. This is definitely my dad.…

    • 771 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    This was partially because of how he felt about his father's actions, but if he viewed them in a good light he would have at least told them his plan instead of having them worrying for years. In addition, his mother commented , “He told us what he thought we needed to know and nothing more. He was that way about everything” (120). McCandless’ distant nature didn’t go unnoticed by his family. However, Treadwell's parents were very distant with him.…

    • 1411 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She comes to envy him from time to time, which can make her become more distant. Another conflict is Auggie’s parents always babying him. His parents are overprotective because they do not want him to get his feelings hurt. This can be a problem as stated by Dr. Lisa Firestone, “ I personally believe there is value to investigating how the raising of our children might play some part in their lack of independence in adulthood.” In other words, babying Auggie can prevent him from growing up. Auggie’s family is also used to choosing sides.…

    • 1067 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Ashley is expected to have common sense along with book sense. Eric is expected to do more of physical work. No one understands “...why mothers are so often told to go against their instincts with their boys, to tell a crying child “man up” or “shake it off”, or to let a hurting teenager suffer in silence and “work it out on his own” (NYT Takes On). Mothers are “taught” to expect their boys to be independent than their girls. A mother’s son might feel as though it’s unfair to him, but he doesn’t understand that he actually has it easy compared to a girl and parents.Boys would feel like they have it harder with their parents because “In short, girls tend to get more of their parents’ affection, attention and protection while boys tend to be taught to not need some and to “man up”” (NYT Takes On).…

    • 1096 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    However, my father’s effort was wasted. Even though my mother may have disliked me, what we did share was our mutual dislike of my father. If anything, we tolerated him. I told him that once too, said the only time she’d ever pay him any attention was when he had her on her back and even then not so much. He’d wanted to murder me then, only my mother was two rooms…

    • 2485 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This may be the sole reason why she does not strive for success. Catherine wants to come out of her famous father’s shadow, but does not attempt to because she is too afraid to fail. Due to this fear being subconscious and internal, Catherine blames her missed opportunities of success on those around her. Catherine is not aware that her lack of success is due to her fear of failure, so she blames her father and sister. This fear is also influenced externally,by societal…

    • 1113 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    When she says “I love my son. But he terrifies me.” it shows the reader that she has a big problem that may affect her, her son, or other people as since he still has the unpredictable episodes that terrify her. She has even given up her freelance job that she loved for a position at a college so she can get benefits like health insurance that can pay for her son’s care. Long mentions this to the reader so we can see some of the sacrifices that she has made in an attempt to help her son. She has tried taking her son to get help, but has not had a diagnosis or any other progress made.…

    • 1375 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In short, she simply refused to allow herself or her kids to succumb to the conditions and temptations that surrounded them. In the end, it comes down to forks in the road of time. At some critical points in his youth, wes went down one path, mostly due to the influence of his mother and has become more successful due to what his mother influenced him to do. “ Wes said to me in one of our conversations Your father wasn't there because he couldn't be. My father wasn't there because he chose not to be,'" said Wes.…

    • 578 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    I had some problems with negative feelings towards Paul that largely had to do with the way he treated his family. It was very difficult for me to listen to Paul talk about how he treated his wife in a way that to him was just normal. He never considered her and always did things for himself. I know that that type of behavior is typical for his generation, but it was difficult for me not to pass judgements towards him. I considered his behavior very selfish throughout our interviews.…

    • 1342 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays