Happiness In Into The Wild

1268 Words 6 Pages
True happiness is a goal of every person on this planet. What true happiness is remains a mystery for most, but not all. Chris McCandles, the main character in the movie “ Into The Wild” directed by Sean Penn and written by Jon Krakaur, devoted his life to finding true happiness within. Chris was a very smart college student with a troubled family life. While many in his situation turn to drugs or alcohol, Chris turned to the wise words of transcendentalist writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to find a better way of life. After studying these writings thoroughly he concluded that if he was to find happiness, he needed to isolate himself from the current standards of society and the modern world. His parents were financially …show more content…
He constantly threw away money. He donated twenty four thousand dollars to charity, burned his cash after the flood, and gave his last quarter to an old man. If he had this money he could have ridden the train to Alaska legally and made his adventure more comfortable in any number of ways. Instead, he elected to make his money himself, for he would rather find joy working on the farm, experiencing and enjoying life than to have false joy in money. Not only this, but he wanted to be as self reliant as described in Emerson’s “Self Reliance”. Emerson described man as being too reliant on each other, saying that instead of Man going alone, he “goes abroad to beg a cup of water of the urns of other men.”(Self Reliance p.6) Chris wanted to stray away from this common way of life in which man relies on others. At one point Chris was offered a ride all the way to Alaska by Jan, a hippie friend Chris met on his way to the northwest. Chris elected to turn down the offer, and he instead opted to make the journey on his own. Thus proving furthermore that Chris was in fact as self reliant as any transcendentalist writer claimed to be. While Chris’s abandonment of money may have been a way to keep from being found by police, it was motivated more so by his desire to not create an attachment to useless worldly things pleasures such as money. This may have been rooted in his own parents' obsession with …show more content…
He was a man who wanted to go out in the world and find a more suitable way of living life and being content while doing so. He went out into the Alaskan wilderness in pursuit of freedom as well as happiness. As Ralph Emerson said, “Be it known to you that henceforth I obey no law less than the eternal law.”(Self Reliance p.6). Chris McCandles, while he was not necessarily a trouble maker, constantly broke the law once his journey commenced. On his way to Alaska he came up with the plan to paddle down an extremely intense rushing river. However, he was denied access to the river, and was told he would not be successful without training. Nevertheless, he thought it was within his ability, and so he made the decision to take on the river. His independent thinking had been often on display when people told him not to go off into the wild. Many people whom Chris met along his journey tried to convince him to stay, but he was always resisted any temptation. Many offered very tempting proposals, but Chris knew what was the right thing for him to do, and nobody was going to change his mind. His beliefs as to what happiness is were quite different from the beliefs of most other people, but very similar to Thoreau. Thoreau himself went into the wilderness to live in isolation. Henry Thoreau wrote ,“I went to the woods because i wished to live deliberately, To front the essential facts of life, and see if I could not

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