The Wild, By Henry David Thoreau Essay

1003 Words Nov 20th, 2015 5 Pages
Henry David Thoreau once said, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” McCandless easily relates to this as he went on an adventure with a hunger he had no means of fulfilling. Within a sea of naturalist and, opposing, transcendental texts, his ideology was not clearly defined even to himself. In the burrows of Mt. McKinley, Chris McCandless died of starvation in 1992. Many esteem his ideals, but controversy remains on whether his death was necessary. Despite Krakauer’s undeserved romanticism in Into the Wild, McCandless was not justified in shunning society in pursuit of individualism as he misinterpreted transcendentalist teachings and was fiercely ignorant, even in spite of Emerson’s and Thoreau’s admonitions in “Nature” and “Walden”. McCandless’s thoughtless excursion into Alaska was far from merited due to his badly mirrored attempt of enlightenment through his practice of isolation, which overall contradicted with his fascination of transcendentalist texts. McCandless intentionally pulled himself out of society, severing ties with his family and friends. Though Henry David Thoreau did venture into the woods, his text explicitly notes, “nor did I wish to practice resignation” (Thoreau 1). Thoreau kept in contact with people, rarely commuting out to make visits. Correspondingly, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Nature” muses, “A man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society” (Emerson 1). McCandless did a well…

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