Into The Wild Pat Riley Analysis

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Nature is most beautiful when it is left untouched. Forests with trees not cut down and waterfalls that are still running strong are examples of what make nature so pure and pretty. A transcendentalist will agree that nature is beautiful. In Into the Wild, Chris McCandless wants to find something more in his life, so he turns to nature. In Pat Riley’s essay, “Following Dreams”, Pat’s brother-in-law, Bill, goes into the wild just like Chris in order to feel like he was fully living his life.
Pat Riley wrote the essay “Following Dreams” for Don Henley and Dave Marsh’s book Heaven is Under Our Feet. Riley’s essay was based of his brother-in-law’s encounter with Walden Woods. He talks about how they both read the book Walden and it gave Bill the
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In Into the Wild it is Chris who is looking for happiness, and in “Following Dreams” it is Bill. Chris found his peace in Alaska. He may have lost his life there too, but by the smile on his face in his last picture, it is clear he regretted nothing. Krakauer explains this look on his face by saying, “He is smiling in the picture, and there is no mistaking the look in his eyes: Chris McCandless was at peace, serene as a monk gone to God” (Krakauer 199). Even in a time where Chris has no energy and he knows he may die, he manages to look at peace. Nature has a way of making people feel calm and joyful. This feeling is exactly what Bill was looking for. Pat Riley explains how he and Bill felt about this idea of living and he says, “We both drew inspiration from Thoreau so that we could instead chart our own course, so that when we came to die, we would not discover that we ‘had not lived’” (Henley and Marsh 143). Pat and Bill both want to live their lives with no regrets. Pat fell into the social norms of working, but Bill was on a search to find exactly what Chris wanted to find. Bill, like Chris, went into nature, or the wilderness, to find this feeling of fully living and tranquility. Both men had the courage to be different and live their lives in nature, how they wanted …show more content…
In the essay, Riley explains what make Walden so unique and special. He says, “[Walden] was a place where the woods and the creatures within were valued for themselves, not just for their use by humans” (Henley and Marsh 143). When nature is left untouched, it has a certain beauty that is unexplainable. Although I have not been to Walden Woods, I agree with Riley that some of the most amazing sights in nature are those that are unchanged. Another idea Riley expresses in his essay is what Walden represents. He says, “Walden is also the place where civil disobedience had its finest expression” (Henley and Marsh 144). I wouldn’t agree completely with Riley on this that the finest expression of disobedience was at Walden, but I do believe that the woods symbolize resistance and protest. Thoreau started this civil disobedience by refusing to pay the poll tax. While Walden did inspire protest, I feel like there were greater examples of civil disobedience. Also, Pat Riley brought up a point about people in the suburbs that I was able to really connect with. He says, “[Bill] grew up in the suburbs where nature was something you drove to look at on weekends or vacations” (Henley and Marsh 142). I’m from the suburbs, so I understand that pure nature isn’t always close. Sure I can look outside and see some trees, but I also see roads, houses, and other man built objects that destruct the

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