American Values In Christopher Mccandless's Into The Wild
In America we have values, a person’s principles or standards of belief or what a person finds important in life. Throughout history, we have acquired values that are still present to this day. In A Narrative of the Captivity, Rowlandson loses her child and has to continue working to be able to survive. During that time period, work was not stable, she had to find people to do favors for to be able to earn money for food and water to be able to survive, whilst mourning her lost child. In Into the Wild, Christopher McCandless takes a life changing adventure to Alaska. McCandless encounters obstacles that teach him many lessons and strengthen his values. Throughout his journey he learns how to survive, while secluded from the outside world, and how to work hard for money to travel and obtain food. From Mary Rowlandson’s A Narrative of the Captivity to Into the Wild novel by Jon Krakauer, America holds onto these values of work and survival that appear throughout history and literature, although they evolved throughout time.
One of the founding values of America regarding survival is the need to live despite difficult circumstances. In A Narrative of the Captivity, Mary Rowlandson continues to strive through life despite the accident with her child and the difficult circumstances she is placed in. The mother is “fain to go and look after something to satisfy her hunger…”. She is desperate to indulge in food, for she had not eaten in days. After not eating in days and mourning over her lost child, she was enthusiastic to be able to obtain food. She was very thankful that she could have food and thanked the Lord several times for the good He had done for her. The narratives Into the Wild and A Narrative of the Captivity are similar in the aspect that Chris and Mary both have to survive. Chris, the protagonist of Into the Wild displays the struggle like so: “It was slow going. In order to feed himself he had to devote a large portion of each day to stalking animals”. Chris McCandless survives alone in Alaska for just over 4 months. Chris had to kill animals on his own, obtain plants that are safe to eat, and learn how to entertain himself. He prepares for his trek to Alaska by surviving on limited materials,
“subsisting on nothing but five pounds of rice and what marine life he could pull from the sea, an experience that would later convince him he could survive on similarly meager rations in the Alaska bush”. Chris McCandless travels to Santa Clara and changes from this experience because he learns that he could live off of almost nothing. He goes more than twenty days without human interaction and barely any food. This gives Chris more confidence to live in the wild, which influences his decision to go to Alaska. These two pieces of literature show that the will to live is very important, although it has changed slightly because the human ability to survive has developed and become easier over time and as history has occurred, people have learned different ways to live.
Another foundational value leading to the upbringing of our country is work. Work is necessary for the essential purpose of obtaining money or supplies. In A Narrative of the Captivity, Rowlandson displays her struggle to do jobs for others and earn items to help her survive. Rowlandson explains, “There was a squaw who spoke to me to make a shirt for her sannup, for which she gave me a piece of bear. Another asked me to knit a pair of stockings, for which she gave me a quart of peas…”. Some people even had her do work for them and did not give her anything in return. Mary Rowlandson did her very best to endure through her tough times and continued to earn what was given to her. In this time period it was common to do favors or trades and that’s exactly what she did. In Into the Wild, Chris McCandless was a very hard worker. While working in Carthage, “McCandless worked hard, doing dirty, tedious jobs that nobody else wanted to tackle: mucking out warehouses, exterminating vermin, painting, scything weeds”. Chris was determined to do his best and earn his money.
Throughout his life, he worked at McDonalds, a grain elevator, and as a child enjoyed selling items around the neighborhood. In all of theses positions he demonstrated determination and hard-work. Chris was determined to earn his money and not just have it handed to him. Throughout history the value of work has developed and changed; work has become more specific for different people, it now has a generous array of options, and there are more rules and safety regarding it now. As history continues, the value of work will continue to evolve, and we will continue to see this change through literature.
Although time has evolved the values of America’s stances on enduring inconveniences and labor are presented in these pieces of literature. Early America had to strive more to preserve these values, they were not as blessed with what America has now developed to have. These differences are apparent aspects of Into the Wild and A Narrative of the Captivity. Chris traveled willingly, while Mary was just trying to survive; Chris had more stable jobs, in comparison to Mary, doing favors for items. As Americans mature as a country these values will become simpler to obtain. We as Americans have held onto these values. However, we will continue to watch these values evolve and expand.
Chris McCandless’ literary heroes were not opposite from each other but they were not the same either. Tolstoy, London, and Thoreau were all considered great minds of their times, just reading their works gives me an understanding of why he would be influenced by these great minds. ~These authors influenced Chris in his moral principles and his aspirations to embark on this journey which inspired Krakauer to write this very book.~ I think Jack London inspired McCandless the most out...
Freedom is defined as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants. With “Into the Wild”, director Sean Penn explores the true significance of this word and encourages the viewers to question if they are truly free. Released in 2007, “Into the Wild” is a movie based on Jon Krakauer’s 1996 book which recounts the true story of McCandless, whose persona appears as the main character of the movie. Idealist Christopher McCandless, played by actor Emile...
Introduction: The unique writing styles of simplicity and irony are intermingled with an interview style, employed by John Krakauer in “Into the Wild” serve to exemplify the main themes of existentialism and materialism. “Into the Wild” is a biography written three years after the events transpiring within the novel. “The Metamorphosis” is a social commentary written in the form of a novella. Both books follow the predestined stories of young men struggling to embrace the materialistic demands as well as...
The adventure of a lifetime ends with a devastating conclusion. Such is the case in ‘Into The Wild’ by Jon Krakauer, which follows the journey of a wanderlust-driven man named Chris McCandless. His travels take him across the United States to reach his ultimate goal of Alaska and finding his true ‘self’. McCandless challenges society by abandoning his old way of life and starting a new, pure life. To his dismay, the journey ends with him realizing that he is...
The novel Into The Wild is based on a true story of a young man named Chris McCandless, who later takes on the name of Alex and adventures alone up to his death to the Alaskan Wilderness at only the age of 24. His main drive for this unplanned trip was because he felt as if his life was becoming a schedule every day with the same repetitive actions occurring daily instead of living in the unknown. With so much...
There was a man who embarked on a journey in one of the most frigid and glacial areas in the entire world. That man was Chris McCandless. Critics will claim that McCandless was a delusional fool who traveled to Alaska just to have his life cut short. While others claim that he was a brave young warrior who traveled to Alaska but was not able to survive long enough to find his purpose that he came to the state to...
Jon Krakauer, an author, wrote a book called ‘Into the Wild’, it portrays Chris McCandless, a young man who went on an adventure into nature, inexperienced and foolishly to find his true identity and dignity. Chris McCandless wants to evade and fled the claustrophobic confines of Society and his family. He has a grudge toward his family, except his sister, which prompted him the desire to vanish. Nature, the wild, is a place where he believes he can find his...
In life and education, individuals who stray from the norm are branded as delusional outcasts instead of innovators or visionaries. Jon Krakauer investigates this in his book, Into the Wild. The book explores the final months of adventurer and transcendentalist, Christopher McCandless; McCandless abandoned the trappings of wealth and higher education to explore the Alaskan wilderness. While some Americans have questioned McCandless’s motives and legacy, Krakauer’s Into the Wild shed light on McCandless’ desire for enlightenment and what inspired his...
Krakauer’s novel ‘Into the Wild’ is a controversial yet intriguing work in which questions remain about the main characters goals and inspirations. The views of McCandless’ Alaskan adventure are seen as either arrogant and ill advised or heroic and motivational, but my personal views remain split between the two differencing sides. Instead of viewing McCandless as a ‘Bush Stereotype’, I prefer to believe that Chris was idealistic and searching for a worthy challenge in life. To begin with, in order...
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