Into The Wild By Jon Krakauer: Wilderness Hero Or Foolish Youth
Christopher McCandless was a young man who wanted to give the world a challenge and use his energy to survive in the wild. He had very few reasons for venturing out into the wild without the proper equipment and gear to survive for at least a month. But of those reasons was one of a determination to become a hero of the wild, and following the hero’s journey. To do this, he needed to have the right mindset with the right materials and equipment, which he was somewhat lacking. Albeit his circumstances and lack of equipment, he decided to go on the journey anyway, so this is his journey in its entirety.
Chris McCandless had, instead of receiving a challenge, created a challenge for himself that he was willing to take up and attempt to defeat. His challenge was to venture out into the wild by himself and to hitchhike his way deep into Alaska, starting all the way from his home in suburban Virginia. He was a smart student and had received great grades throughout high school. As soon as he graduated from Emory College with honors, though, he had disappeared out of sight. This left him with no one to help him with his journey, because of the impulsive decision he had made to leave without thinking of the consequences he would face. According to the website
Nevertheless, McCandless had been able to hitchhike his way all the way to the Canada/Alaska border, which is when he had begun his great journey on the Stampede Trail north of Mt. Mckinley. It was at this time that he had achieved step three of the hero’s journey, which is to “Cross the threshold from his normal, safe home, and to enter the special world and adventure.” In this case, the special world would have been the Alaska/Canada border and the adventure would have been McCandless beginning his journey on the Stampede Trail. During this time, he also left his home for the last time, as he would later on in his journey become trapped in the wilderness to starve to death.
As McCandless moves bravely forward into step 4 of the hero’s journey, he faced the problem of not finding a ride while hitchhiking. While he has had some great ideas for getting up to Alaska, not everyone will want to accept a hitchhiker, as it would be a risky move on the driver’s part because you never know what a hitchhiker could do to you if you let them in your car. Even with the knowledge of the dangers of picking up a hitchhiker, McCandless still proceeds to attempt it, and somehow finds a ride rather quickly. The driver that picked him up was willing to take him all the way to Fairbanks, Alaska, and in addition, take him to get the proper equipment from a shop along the way. This surprised McCandless because he was expecting to never get a ride and to have to walk all the way to Alaska by himself. According to the book “Into the Wild” on page 163, Krakauer writes “Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. Anesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, ’cause ‘the West is the best.’ And now after two rambling years comes to the final and greatest adventure.” This shows how determined McCandless was to achieve his dreams of living on his own in the wild with just the help of a ride or two to get up to Fairbanks.
Then came the time for step 5 of his journey into the wild, which was to face his worst fear. McCandless had already been on his own for a while now, so he was getting fairly used to fending for himself. He was already starting to become weaker from exhaustion as the days of travel climbed and climbed, although his determination and effort were some of the only things that kept him up and running. When he had reached Alaska, he was met with quite possibly one of his greatest fears of being on his own – starvation. He was not hopeful in the first place about finding food easily where he was headed and ended up killing a deer only to find out he did not have a way to preserve its meat, which means he could not eat it. He felt like he had killed an animal for no reason at all because he could not eat it. He felt like he was literally going to starve to death at that moment from the rancidity of the deer meat. McCandless has reached step 6 at this point and feels as if he could die of starvation. He quickly writes up a few more last pleads for help in hope that a passerby hunter would catch their eye on one of them. But it turns out that none of that had happened until it was already too late, and McCandless had already perished from starvation.
Christopher McCandless had skipped steps 7 through the end, as he had died without recognition at first for his feats and accomplishments. At least until Jon Krakauer had written an amazingly descriptive article about him in the “Outside” magazine later on. As a result of Krakauer’s decision to write this article about McCandless, his death went from just general to being recognized as one of the most recognized of the month, maybe even the year.
In conclusion, Christopher McCandless should be considered a hero. He made it to Alaska on foot with only the help of a few rides, he survived a number of months in the wild by himself, and he was able to pursue a dream or passion of venturing into the wild and proving society wrong by surviving in the wild. He was truly an overconfident person that did not know when to stop and think about what he was doing. He wanted to get right into the journey with hardly any preparation whatsoever, which would, in turn, give him a series of inescapable consequences during his journey. He had also suffered from a lack of proper gear and equipment, which caused him to not be able to cross the flooded river during the summer he was alone. McCandless was a daring person, whom some may call a hero and others not, but I am siding with those who do not.
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...
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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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