Theme Of Minimalism In Into The Wild
What does it mean to be a minimalist? The answer lies in the evidence Chris leaves behind during his wild adventure to Alaska. One Transcendentalist principle is minimalism. In Jon Krakauer’s book, Into the Wild, Chris chose to be a minimalist. He lives with only the bare minimum-- those things he thinks are important for survival.
David Thoreau once wrote, “I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life” (Thoreau “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” 253). Thoreau was a Transcendentalist who lived alone because he believed he was wasting his life living in society. In society, people get distracted by thing that are not important. Thoreau …show more content…
Chris thinks that if he prys away from the things that are not important to him, he will be able to search for “the essential facts of life” (Thoreau “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” 253), when using only the bare minimum of equipment he brings with him. He has the power to control what he thinks will suit him for the whole time and that is simplicity. Not everyone is like Chris. When it comes to “living off the land” with a backpack, a .22 caliber rifle, a road map, and a ten-pound bag of rice. To Chris, that is the way to survive off of, even if it shocks the people he meets. When Jim Gallien first met Chris, his first thing to say was, “‘He wasn’t carrying anywhere near as much food and gear as you’d expect a guy to be carrying for that kind of trip’” (qtd. in Krakauer 4). Chris does not seem to mind the critical comments he gets when he discovers his impressions on others. What matters most to him is getting the kick out of the adventure that finally allows him to give him the freedom and respect that should have been given to him a long time ago. “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity” (Thoreau “Where I Lived and What I Lived For” 253) is all Chris needs. Having the bare minimum along side with him makes the whole trip wild. He does not make a big deal out of the comments he’d received. He is always trying to change the subject because he does not like it when people try to get in the way. Chris’s definition of freedom is to ditch everything from his past without leaving a trace behind. Leaving tangible items can leave clues; bare minimum does not. Before Chris had walked “into the wild,” he left on his postcard saying, “It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living the fullest extent in which real meaning is found” (qtd. in Krakauer 37). Enjoying the things surrounding you is a whole lot better, especially when dealing with very little items. The most important thing to Chris is making