Into The Wild Transcendentalism Essay

907 Words 4 Pages
Transcendentalism is a movement that has themes of going against society and materialistic things, while embracing nature and spirituality. Chris McCandless is a Transcendentalist in every sense of the word. The young adventurer, who is the protagonist in Jon Krakauer's nonfiction text Into the Wild, travels across Northern America. Following three main ideals; the disconnection of society, a minimalist lifestyle, and a deep respect for both God and nature, he attempts to find himself and satisfy his need for adventure.
Christopher McCandless, who uses the alias Alexander Supertramp, frequently alienates himself from society. He often tries to avoid having any close relationships. When Ron Franz offers to adopt Alex, Chris quickly avoids the
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McCandless follows this to heart. He refuses any kind of materialistic opportunity or luxury. McCandless practices the idea of minimalism when Jan Burres, a friend McCandless has met during his trip, urges him to take some warm clothing before he leaves: “'He eventually took...but the day after he left, most of it was in the van. He pulled it out of his pack when we weren't looking and hid it up under the seat'” (46). McCandless’s actions show that even those who manage to get close to him cannot persuade or change his lifestyle. When his car becomes stuck in the aftermath of a flash flood, instead of feeling devastated, he is excited: “He saw the flash flood as a chance to shed unnecessary things. He arranged all his money in a pile on the sand, and set it on fire. One hundred twenty-three dollars in legal tender was swiftly reduced to ash and smoke” (29). McCandless immediately gets rid of his once beloved car because it is a materialistic object and he no longer needs it. Money is also considered a gateway to acquiring luxury and practicing materialism, which is why McCandless destroys it. Any chance to stray away from a minimalist lifestyle must be promptly avoided in order to follow the ideas of Transcendentalism. He gave up something that could have helped him survive, all in the name of Transcendentalism and a rebellious act against …show more content…
Transcendentalists believe in a core spiritual connection, which is between God, Man, and Nature. McCandless values both the supreme deity above and the natural environment around him with a great respect for nature and its spiritual connection with God, and therefore talks about it often. In a letter to Ron Franz, McCandless expresses his delight for God and nature by saying how much there is to life, encouraging Franz to adventure more often: “You are wrong if you think joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience” (57). McCandless tells Franz that friends and relationships are not needed, and instead adventure is the secret to happiness. He mentions that God is the one that has placed all these possibilities of happiness around people, and that Franz must seize the moment in order to make his time on Earth worth it. McCandless shows this reverence in one of the last days of his life, when he writes his short goodbye to the world. “I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD. GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL!” (199). In his final moments, he expresses his true feeling about his long journey by praising his God along with everyone else in his life. This shows his deep respect to God for his fulfilling and adventurous life. Chris knows that God had a large part in making his life so fulfilling, and therefore

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