Summary Of The Novel 'Into The Wild'

Better Essays
Saron M. Desta
Mr. Darling
ENG4U
20 October 2014
The “crazy” man with the dream:
Chris McCandless’s influence on Ronald Franz
Steve Jobs once said, “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Those that have a different outlook on life are usually the ones that are ‘bent out of society’ simply because they decide not to conform to the social norms. In Jon Krakauer’s famous non-fiction novel “Into the Wild” Chris McCandles, later known as Alex Supertramp, is a well educated twenty-four-year-old American who dreams of an ‘Alaskan Odyssey’. Alex believes that beauty is found in freedom and nature rather than materialistic possessions such as money. He believes in making every moment count and living
…show more content…
Alex’s goal of living off nature alone in Alaska seems unrealistic to Franz, but as their relationship becomes stronger he realizes that there is nothing stopping Alex from reaching his goal because “Once [he] [makes] up his mind about something, there [is] no changing it” (67). Franz is a disciplined and a devoted Christian whose life changes drastically after Alex’s death. Alex’s positive attitude and passion towards nature radiates towards Franz which influences him to make changes to his own life. Franz enjoys Alex’s company to the point where he is “…happy just knowing [Alex] [is] there” (55). He cares about Alex a lot that he asks him “…if [he] could adopt him, if he would be [his] grandson” (55). Alex encourages Franz to “….make a radical change in (his) lifestyle…” (56) and to “sell most of his belongings…and live on the road” (51). Franz takes his advice to heart and decides to “get out of Salton City” (58) and buy a GMC Duravan and “start seeing some of the great work that God has done” (58). Franz becomes heartbroken as he hears the news about Alex’s death, which causes him to “renounce the Lord” (60) and resume his alcoholic …show more content…
He believes that living a nomadic lifestyle, free from society, and enjoying nature will bring happiness and freedom into a persons life. His hatred towards society and its expectations is what causes him to find his true self and to pursue his ‘Alaskan Odyssey’. He chooses to go to Alaska because he believes that living in the wild alone will cure his problems and free his mind from all the pressure. Alex’s lifestyle and beliefs influences Franz to the extent that he decides to store his possessions and become one with nature. After Alex’s death, Franz becomes extremely devastated that he decides to become an atheist and resume his alcoholic

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    He believed that he would be able to survive through the harsh environment of the Alaskan wilderness without help or support from anyone. He wanted to rely on himself, however this proves that the confidence he had in himself soon turned into self-absorption. Krakauer writes, “McCandless distrusted the value of things that came easily. He demanded much of himself – more, in the end, than he could deliver” (Krakauer 184). Krakauer claims that Chris went into the wild with minimal supplies on purpose.…

    • 1207 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Even in a time where Chris has no energy and he knows he may die, he manages to look at peace. Nature has a way of making people feel calm and joyful. This feeling is exactly what Bill was looking for. Pat Riley explains how he and Bill felt about this idea of living and he says, “We both drew inspiration from Thoreau so that we could instead chart our own course, so that when we came to die, we would not discover that we ‘had not lived’” (Henley and Marsh 143). Pat and Bill both want to live their lives with no regrets.…

    • 1137 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The sad reality of Chris’ situation is that he ran from his problems at home to the wilderness, in search of a refuge, however in the end his avoidance of the real problems in his life lead to his death. His story is a true testament to the dangers of denial and a lack of…

    • 1025 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Chris McCandless was tired with society and seeked an escape from it. He did this by heading into the wild to become more in tune with himself and find the meaning of happiness. I agree with the author that Chris was not a crazy sociopath, or an outcast, as he always seemed to be around company on his journey to Alaska, but he was not as competent as the author, Jon Krakauer, believed he is. Chris was not happy with the way life was going so he set out on a journey from Georgia all the way to Alaska to find the meaning of happiness. Chris felt the world was one of “abstraction and security and material excess” and left on a “journey that would change everything” (22).…

    • 740 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Introducing himself as “Alexander” allows for his hope in building a new identity to become realistic. What is notable in this change is his feelings for his family, which is portrayed by deciding to no longer go with the family name as he travels. Krakauer’s use of an authentic perception allows readers to perceive McCandless on a personal level. While sociable with the strangers he meets on the road, McCandless breaks off all contact with his family. In doing so, he omits experiences from his past life which is portrayed through the people he meets on his journey into the wild.…

    • 1369 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Into The Wild Theme Essay

    • 489 Words
    • 2 Pages

    It directly states how endangerment has “always [had] a certain allure” on young men searching for solutions. (Krakauer 124) A perfect example is Chris and how he specifically takes this life changing outing to the frontier when he could’ve gone any other place, nonetheless he goes into the uninhabited lands of North America because it has the most new and treacherous things he could confront. Furthermore, Mr. McCandless knows that “danger [bathes] the world” however he travels towards the biggest chunk in North America. (Krakauer 93) The fact that he finds answers to his life by risking losing it is why he continues to travel to the abandoned mean of transportation. It presents on how he thinks that the more near-death experiences he has, the happier he will be with his life.…

    • 489 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    A time for him to break the social norms that his parents would disapprove of. When he graduated, he left his parents grieving due to his planned disappearance. Another getaway that would fulfill his wants of living on his own. He gave his $25,000 life savings away to a charity and headed off on his adventure. When Chris was in Fairbanks, Alaska he picked up a ride and told the driver his name was Alex Supertramp and that he needed to go to Denali National Park.…

    • 891 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    In a society heavily based on family values, Chris McCandless abandons the status quo and runs into the wilderness seeking solitude and self-discovery. In Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, the protagonist Chris McCandless escapes a privileged young adult life to pursue a better understanding of his self-identity, which he believes he can find in the Alaskan wilderness. Although intending to chase his sense of adventure and escape materialistic ideologies, McCandless was egotistical in his exploration. Before leaving for his adventure to Alaska, Chris McCandless told his sister Carine of his plans to leave his family behind, as he was tired of feeling controlled. McCandless was known to be apathetic towards his family, excluding his sister Carine;…

    • 868 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Through that he is telling himself that he is free in the world without all of those material things and that he can live off the land because people essentially should value that industrial “freedom”. Next, the character Richard Pine greatly valued his independence. At one point he says of his father: “He died of cancer when he was forty-six. I was glad.” (King 1) Pine is undoubtedly fine with being on his own if he could speak so carelessly and cavalierly about his own father. Even throughout much of his journal he inserts “ha-ha”’s as if he is lighthearted about being alone on an island.…

    • 1373 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    One can assume Jon Krakauer included this quote because he wanted to relate John Haines’ experience to the thoughts Chris McCandless wrote in his numerous diary entries. Just like Chris McCandless, John Haines wanted to free himself from society and live with simplicity. Both men embarked into the wilderness, but Chris McCandless took this to the extreme. Chris went on an unexpected odyssey with minimal supplies in order to prove that he could survive on his own and escape reality, however, this escape reinstated stress and sadness on his…

    • 970 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays