Compare And Contrast Into The Wild And Walden

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Into the Wild vs Walden
Into the Wild, a book about a man who ran away from childhood problems and decided to walk into the wilderness by himself after getting rid of all of his materialistic items including his car and money, and Walden, a book about a man who fled towards simplicity and solitude to understand what life was really about, are two incredible books. The stories are timeless and will likely still be talked about in fifty years. The protagonists, Thoreau and Chris, shared many similarities and differences. One big difference between them is their motives for leaving the city and going into the wilderness; Thoreau wanted to live life to the fullest, while Chris wanted to leave the problems at home. Both Chris and Thoreau rejected
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Thoreau focused on his “needs” instead of his “wants” during his time in the woods, which is the opposite of people’s influence in the world we live in today. Thoreau lived during the Industrial Revolution, a time where the economy took off. He uses railroads as symbolism for all types of technology, as the train was a major invention at the time. He stated, “We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us.” Thoreau’s words indicate that he believes that technology and materialistic items control and fuel humans instead of mental or spiritual states like happiness or curiosity. Thoreau believed that the lifestyle of men was way too rushed. We see Thoreau’s opinion towards materialism again later in the book when he was visited by the businessmen. He said that they were only thinking about the income and money, as well as his distance from the city, which is the image in the minds of most …show more content…
We first see evidence of this when Chris donated his leftover money from college (over $24,000) to OXFAM, which is an organization that fights hunger (Krakauer 20). The average salary for Americans is about $51,000, meaning that Chris donated almost half of an average American’s salary to the organization (Average Salaries). We see Chris reject materialism again when he purposefully burned $123 (Krakauer 29). The author said, “Then, in a gesture that would have done both Thoreau and Tolstoy proud, he arranged all his paper currency in a pile on the sand… and put a match to it.” The author’s words suggest that Chris was similar to Thoreau in his opinion of money and materialism. The rejection of materialism is evident once again when the author wrote about Chris’s mentality towards gifts. He didn’t give many gifts and he didn’t take gifts. One specific example is when Chris’s parents gifted a car to Chris after graduating from high school. He felt insulted because he believed that his parents were giving him a materialistic item to convince Chris that they loved him. He didn’t accept the gift, saying that he loved his Datsun that he had been around the country with (Krakauer 21). Even though they both had different “needs”, Chris and Thoreau tried to use only what they required, which is a value of

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