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Into The Wild Essays

23 samples in this category

Today in a world plagued by consumerism and waste, Sean Penn’s ‘Into The Wild’ provides a fresh take on the subject matter, showing the dangers within our society that such exorbitant consumerism can have on the human psyche; it relates to our society now more than ever, having aged well over the past 12 years since its release

Having been nominated for two Oscars and is based on a true story, Into The Wild follows the picaresque adventures of the troubled protagonist Chris McCandless (Emile Hirsch) who, fueled by the notions of transcendentalist philosophical greats such as Thoreau and Emerson abandons his family and sets out on an epic adventure across America to find solace in solitude from consumerism.

Set out in a non-linear fashion the film actually starts with a flashforward from the majority of the movie to where Chris is on his lonesome in the desolate wastes of the Alaskan wilderness. The Himalayan-esque white mountains and deserted bush set out in the establishing shot of the opening scene show no civilization anywhere in the site, conveying an overwhelming sense of freedom from the materialistic shackles of society. This scene is contrasted deeply with the scene directly after; We see Chris, having just recently graduated from college with honors, at lunch with his parents celebrating his achievement. However, Chris isn’t celebrating. His parents offer to buy him a new car as his current car is only serving to embarrass his parents to the neighbors. Chris, annoyed at the statement of this, claims that he doesn’t need a new car and that these “things, things, things” that his parents are always adamant about purchasing are prodigal. His parents are shown to be vain and lavish throughout. The such stark juxtaposition with the Alaskan wilderness that Chris, at first, seems happy in allows us to glimpse into Chris’s life and the reasons why he might’ve wanted to escape that wastrel lifestyle his parents has set up for him.

One of the motives for Chris in ‘Into The Wild’ is his draconian desire to be in complete isolation from everybody and everything. While a naturally gregarious person and cordial to nearly every stranger he meets on the road, he still feels that he needs to escape society due to his strict moral codes. Chris has trouble sticking in relationships mostly due to his estrangement from his mother and father. He travels up and down the USA meeting fellow nomads Rainey and Jan(Brian Dieker and Catherine Keener), and working for a short stint with grain worker Wayne (Vince Vaughn). The most meaningful connection that Chris makes is with an older man named Ron (Hal Holbrook). A relationship blooms between the two, with Ron coming to see Chris as the son he never had. Their relationship is cut short because just like with everyone else Chris met he believes that the importance of family is overrated. You can’t have a good movie without good actors and Into The Wild doesn’t overlook this aspect. Boasting an engaging ensemble cast all of which have great synergy; Into The Wild’s story wouldn’t be as poignant without it.

Eddie Vedder’s folklike score with hints of rock and roll making “fleeting appearances” throughout ‘Into The Wild’ works to create a gentle atmosphere within the movie and allow us to delve into Chris’s wild world through gentle guitar riffs and heartfelt lyrics. His songs work to create a strong sense of freedom with an implication of danger within society and nature itself. The soundtrack alone I would say is enough on its own to warrant a watch with it even winning a Golden Globe for Best Original Song – ‘Guaranteed’.

Though on its exterior the first half of Into The Wild may seem like a simple film about a young man’s wanderlust or desire to escape from society, is in a truer sense that shows us two ideas: That sometimes depending on others is necessary, and dangers of idealism. Chris pledges himself to lead an itinerant and impoverished lifestyle, time after time rejecting the love and support of his friends who serve as a surrogate family to him throughout his journey. The film serves as a warning, if you repeat the same mistakes as Chris you’ll end up alone in the wild like himself. The film is brilliant in essence largely because of the message that it translates to the viewer along with the masterful execution, and I feel that one quote in particular by Chris shows this – “Happiness is best shared with others.”

The film doesn’t just show us what we can learn from Chris, but also what we can learn from the world we live in today. The main motive behind all of Chris’s actions is society. The society that breeds greed. The society that makes people ugly. The society that wastes. Although based in the 90’s, the message within is more relevant today than ever. Consumerism is inherently bad, adding little to our well-being as well as being disastrous for the planet. Consumerism causes the waste over ⅓ of global food each year in waste. Consumerism means that 59 percent of the world’s resources were consumed by the wealthiest ten percent of the population. Consumerism means that depression rates have doubled over the past decade. Despite taking a step forward since the time the film is set in, society has taken two steps back in terms of social and environmental welfare and we still have a long way to go make amends.

Fitted with all the trappings of a great film Into The Wild does not disappoint whatsoever; with a captivating story and one of the best scores, i’ve had the pleasure of hearing to boot. It is a must-watch.

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In The Wild: Is The Main Character Rational?

In the novel, Into the wild. John krakauer talks about Chris McCandles a genius that followed his dreams. Or others say an idiot that left his family and try to survive on his own in the wild. Chris McCandles lived for 113 days out in the wild with bits of supplies that he had at the moment. It’s crazy how he survived, which is impressive considering the circumstances. The point is that McCandles was smart, but many other people did...
3 Pages 1528 Words

Literary Devices in Into the Wild

Chris McCandless was stuck in the wild. No food, no water, no compass. He was all alone. What if this was you? What if you were in this situation? In the book, Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, this is that crazy situation. Chris McCandless was deep in the Alaskan wilderness and struggled to survive. He used his instincts and his incredible knowledge of the wild to help him. This essay will be about Krakauer’s story about how Chris McCandless...
2 Pages 1133 Words

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...
2 Pages 933 Words

Chris McCandless as a Person to Be Admired

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...
2 Pages 774 Words

Jon Krakauer's Purpose For Writing Into The Wild

American novelist and mountaineer, Jon Krakauer, in his book, Into The Wild, describes the life and death of Christopher McCandless. Krakauer’s purpose is to explain the exact details of McCandless’s final expedition. Krakauer adopts a sympathetic tone to convey to his readers that Chris is extremely gifted and did not die out of stupidity. Krakauer persuades the reader to develop a view that Chris McCandless was more capable and intelligent than most people believed him to be through the application...
2 Pages 780 Words

Understanding Jon Krakauer’s Into The Wild Through A Writer Lens

Krakauer made his intentions clear at the start in the author’s notes by declaring that “I won’t claim to be an impartial biographer.” He also said that he will be adding in his own narrative from his youth in hopes that it will shed some light on what kind of things influence McCandless to pursue his journey, where he traveled, and get the perspective of who he was from the people he met including his family. This is helpful because...
1 Page 623 Words

Chris McCandless: Hero or Fool

Have you ever regretted any of the decisions you have ever made? Chris was a smart and athletic person. He had parents who he wasn’t in a great relationship with. After he graduated from high school, he wanted to live on his own and have nothing handed to him. He wanted to find out who he really was. Chris McCandless, main character of Jon Krakauer’s book ‘Into The Wild’, is a fool because he was smart, and athletic, and his...
1 Page 523 Words

McCandless’s Adventure of a Lifetime

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...
2 Pages 902 Words

Chris McCandless Character Analysis

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...
2 Pages 789 Words

Issue of Escaping in “Into the Wild” and “The Metamorphosis”: Chris McCandless and Samsa

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...
7 Pages 3090 Words

Christopher McCandless’s Journey into the Alaskan Frontier: Critical Analysis of Ito the Wild

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...
3 Pages 1275 Words

Into The Wild Essay: Life and Achievements of Chris McCandless

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...
3 Pages 1504 Words

Theme of Identity Formation in the Novel 'Jasper Jones' and the Film 'In the Wild'

Memories are the architecture of our identity, designed by our parents. Together the protagonists from the novel ‘Jasper Jones’, and the film ‘Into the Wild’, have grown up with memories built around their parents, and what their parents have emphasized as their identity. Charlie and Chris have had their identities shaped by the way their parents have raised them. Ever since a young age, parents have always been there in our memories. The things that have been there since childhood...
4 Pages 1761 Words

Into The Wild By Jon Krakauer: The Life Of Chris Mccandless

The novel Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer introduces Chris McCandless’s journey after suddenly leaving his family to live off of the land alone. While throwing his whole life and possessions away, he wanders off into the wilderness where Chris awaits his next obstacle moving forward. McCandless doesn’t owe his family the courtesy of keeping in touch because wants to be independent and free, also wanted nothing to do with them considering the corruption in his past. For example, his...
1 Page 490 Words

Main Themes And Ideas In The Novel Into The Wild

Venturing off into nature can help find a sense of true meaning of who someone is and belonging in life. However, it is the environment nature that unfortunately takes his life. Towards the end of his life, McCandless Discovers what he never realized before. He realizes his purpose and need of other people. After the death of Chris McCandless in Alaska, Krakauer took it upon himself that he wanted to let the world know about who Chris McCanldess was and...
2 Pages 736 Words

Into The Wild By Jon Krakauer: An Imbalance Of Community And Self-reflection

The book, Into the Wild, reveals an imbalance of community and self-reflection in the life of Chris McCandless. Throughout McCandless’s journey, it is evident that he spends a great deal of time by himself, reflecting and contemplating his life choices. McCandless obtains self-actualization in the end. The irony is that McCandless comes to understand the connection between happiness and human relationships too late as he perishes during his trek back to civilization. This book was thought-provoking and has encouraged me...
2 Pages 897 Words

Personal Growth And Environment In Tracks And Into The Wild

Robyn Davidson’s Tracks and Sean Penn’s Into the Wild present the natural world as a liberating way for individuals to free themselves from the constraints of society. Both journeys of the protagonists show that, while the wilderness is capable of frayed emotional states, it is also inherently challenging and potentially deadly. While both Robyn Davidson and Christopher McCandless each have idealised notions of what the wilderness might bring them, Davison and Penn ultimately show that heading into the wilderness with...
3 Pages 1275 Words

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...
2 Pages 1089 Words

The Understanding Of Freedom In The Film Into The Wild

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...
2 Pages 808 Words

Into The Wild By Jon Krakauer: The Central Idea Of The Book

Throughout time, many people all over the world develop different principles and ideologies that bring joy and happiness through their lives. These principles can come from a variety of subjects and are unique to the individual. Specifically, in the book Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, the main character, Christopher McCandless had many radical ideas that brought him happiness. During the book, Krakauer details how Chris had wanted to escape society to find happiness and one of his main sources...
2 Pages 833 Words

The Use Of Anecdotes In The Novel Into The Wild

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...
1 Page 435 Words

The Different Views Of Christopher Mccandless Journey

Into the Wild is a novel based on the true tales of Christopher McCandless, a wealthy young man, and his journey from the east coast to the Alaskan wilderness. Many ideas have been thrown around about Chris and what made him leave everything behind. Whether that be supporting him or heavily criticizing him. Two men Jon Krakauer and Sean Penn set out to tell the real story, one through a novel and the other through a film. Both portrayed similar...
2 Pages 761 Words

Into The Wild: Book And Movie Comparison

Most people expect to see the best parts of a what they read when they go to see a movie that is based upon a book, but most of the time “The book is better than the movie” and this is precisely what happened with Into the Wild. The movie’s theme correlates with the book but the way it is presented is quite different than the book. The book Into The Wild, is a travel essay written by Jon Krakauer....
3 Pages 1363 Words
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