Into The Wild Father Theme

Improved Essays
One of the major themes in Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild is the father-son relationship between father Walt McCandless and his son, Chris. This theme specifically plays a significant role in Chris’s life because it shows how Chris was brought up and what made him want to partake in a journey across the country to Alaska without bothering to contact his family. Right from the start, Chris was a brilliant, independent, and competitive child. Chris inherited some of these strong features from his father, and would end up using it against him. Krakauer mentions, “[Walt] Taking control is something he does unconsciously, reflexively…his voice has an edge, and the set of his jaw betrays an undercurrent of nervous energy. Even from across the room …show more content…
Carine, Chris’s younger sister, mentions the “verbal sparring” that would take place in their household between the parents and how it made her become really close with her brother (Krakauer 107). Chris would try to protect her from the abusive scene and take her out of the house. Moreover, his shaken relationship with his father was a major driving force of his decision to trek across the country and take on a soul-searching journey to the North. Before his final journey, he decided to take an expedition to his childhood neighborhood in El Segundo, California. Only then did he find out about his father’s past double-life with his supposed ex-wife, Marcia, and his current wife, Billie, and how he fathered another son two years after Chris was born. This crushed Chris. Learning this huge lie was the final straw and he wanted to get back at his parents. When he returned home, he intended to keep his smoldering rage deep inside him until after his graduation, when he would opt to disappear from his parent’s life. Chris leaving took a big toll on family, especially Walt, the reason of his son’s disappearance, where “a softer, more tolerant side of his personality came to the fore” (Krakauer 105). Before he vanished, Chris complained to his sister that their parents were “so irrational, so oppressive, disrespectful and insulting that I

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