Reasons In Into The Wild, By Jon Krakauer

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Positive Intentions Reveal the Opposite

In the book, “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer, Chris McCandless is a young man who was born into a wealthy middle class family and graduated from Emory College. Instead of embarking on a profitable career that would continue to support his reputable character, he decided to give up his possessions that would connect him to a life full of laws and expectations, and undertake a journey to the Alaskan Wilderness. Although Alex Supertramp, the name Chris gave himself, makes it seem as though his dysfunctional family was another major factor in his journey, besides his readings for Emerson and Thoreau, it can be more easily comprehended that his excuses were not justifiable for his actions. Leaving behind
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Chris believed that if he pushes his limit he can achieve wisdom and life. He challenged and tested himself to a higher extent that soon led to his demise. In Krakauer’s interview with Walt, Chris’s father he reveals, “Chris was good at almost everything he ever tried.. which made him supremely overconfident. If you attempted to talk him out of something, he wouldn’t argue. He’d just nod politely and then do exactly what he wanted” (Krakauer 118-119). Krakauer portrays this hidden aspect of Chris from the view of his family. Not only was he stubborn, Chris refused to hear what his parents tried to warn him of because he was confident that he would make it through whatever obstacles he came across. Krakauer supports this when he writes, “ No thanks anyway,” Alex replied, “I’ll be fine with what I’ve got” (Krakauer 6). He believed that he would be able to survive through the harsh environment of the Alaskan wilderness without help or support from anyone. He wanted to rely on himself, however this proves that the confidence he had in himself soon turned into self-absorption. Krakauer writes, “McCandless distrusted the value of things that came easily. He demanded much of himself – more, in the end, than he could deliver” (Krakauer 184). Krakauer claims that Chris went into the wild with minimal supplies on purpose. His goal was to test himself every step of the way knowing the risk of …show more content…
Chris strongly opposed any kind of unnecessary material possession. In a letter he wrote to his sister before he took off to Alaska, he complained about his parents, “I can’t believe they’d try and buy me a car” (Krakauer 21). Chris reasoned that he has a perfectly capable car and that receiving a new one was ridiculous. He believed that people overlooked the true meaning of life and that one can only experience it if they rely on their own efforts and abilities. He found that this idea was supported by Emerson, a philosopher he followed, as well as Thoreau who played a major role in further inspiring him that living off the land was the best way to find your inner self. Chris detested “the rich kids at emory,” and is embarrassed by his family’s wealth, believing that “wealth was shameful, corrupting, inherently evil” (Krakauer 115). Krakauer supports Chris on this because as he was able to connect to Chris, both believe that people have to be held to higher standards, not be judged by what they had, but who they were. He admired his determination even if it meant that the overconfidence he had led to his destruct. Despite the positive aspect of what Krakauer believes, it is fair to say that Chris’ ideas relate to that of another century. The philosophers he followed all have a idea of seeing one’s purpose, however in a society where

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