Consequences Of Happiness In Into The Wild, By Jon Krakauer

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Purpose: In Into the Wild, while Jon Krakauer shows the consequences of choosing living differently, he clarifies that Chris McCandless’s different life philosophy results in his overall happiness. Jon Krakauer uses Into the Wild to show that being ambitiously different causes overall happiness for the individual. McCandless believes happiness is connected with new experiences; therefore, the key to a happy life is to consistently go through change and chose a different life style (Krakauer 57). Many others, however, are accustomed to “a life of security, conformity, and conservatism” (Krakauer 57) which often is the safe route. However, McCandless understands that he associates happiness with wilderness and decides to make the change and …show more content…
As Krakauer explores Chris McCandless and his journey, he slowly recognizes the difference between McCandless and society. In the Author’s Note, Krakauer introduces this idea by stating the different responses received after his article in the Outside. While some admired McCandless’s passion, many others criticized McCandless for his carelessness, stating he is being characterized as a hero when in reality he was “a wacko” (Krakauer Author’s Note). This criticism is again highlighted when Krakauer interviews one of McCandless’s managers, Lori Zarza. Zarza was the assistant manager of the McDonald’s (Krakauer 40) McCandless worked at after leaving El Golfo de Santa Clara for Las Vegas (Krakauer 36-37). As a coworker, Zarza states that McCandless was obviously different from the other employees (Krakauer 40). However, McCandless talking about “trees and nature” (Krakauer 40) does not mean he may be “missing a few screws” (Krakauer 40). This fallacious thinking shows how McCandless’s interest in nature and in his dreams to live in the wilderness was perceived as weird to others. Another negative reaction would be the complexities to McCandless and his life philosophy that often confused his family. McCandless’s decision to abandon his traditional life and go to Alaska to find himself, and as result happiness, was a choice that made little sense to others. This decision to …show more content…
Krakauer uses an excerpt from Wallace Stegner’s The American West as Living Space to explain how humans, like McCandless, are naturally adrenaline seekers (15). The idea of being in a life or death situation and rebelling against law and duties excites people (Krakauer 15). Rebelling is then connected to escaping to the west, an ideology that represents America during the time of westward expansion. This connection shows how American history has always associated nature with freedom and excitement. The passage from Paul Shepard’s Man in the Landscape introduces deserts, as Krakauer is going to explore McCandless’s journey through the Gran Desierto (25). Shepard links deserts to revelation, stating how the vastness of the desert creates a “majestic” (Krakauer 25) atmosphere. Religious leaders and exiles use the desert to find personal answers rather than to escape, just as McCandless uses Alaska to find himself. This idea that nature can be used to find personal meaning is again seen in an excerpt from Edwards Hoagland’s “Up the Black to Chalkyitsik” (Krakauer 70). While Krakauer looks into the criticism McCandless received posthumously, the epigraph again looks at the plan of turning to nature for something more. Hoagland explains the idea that escaping to nature “for a cure, a conversion, a rest, or whatever” (Krakauer 70) is prevalent in American tradition seen in the novel “Big Two-Hearted

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