Analysis of Chris McCandless’ decision to go to the wild.
In life, people tend to admire and want what they don’t or can’t have, including cars, houses, or even particular lifestyles. In the novel “Into the Wild,” John Krakauer describes Chris McCandless as a person who desired more in his life. Despite him living in an upper-middle-class family and having the chance of going to college, he wasn’t satisfied with his achievements. Also, he desired a different life other than being around rich, self-centered people. The author narrates in the story how McCandless got rid of all his possessions, including his trust fund to experience adventure and what he considered to be true happiness. He then left for the wilderness in Alaska to fulfill his desire before losing his life. His body was discovered at an abandoned bus in Alaska, and the official cause of death ruled to be starvation. After his death in 1992 notes, journals, and photos that he left behind in the bus illustrated his ordeal in the wilderness. The images of him sitting on a chair in front of a bus continue to haunt people today. Next, John Krakauer used his novel “Into the Wild” to narrate his opinion on the kind of life McCandless lived. In the novel, the narrator described the experience of McCandless carefully without judging it authoritatively to the readers. He describes him as a man of courage whom all people should admire. Chris McCandless rejected his family’s mundane life and sought a different kind of experience in the wilderness. His decision was motivated by his sense of adventure, his inability to conform to the rules of the community due to his stubborn personality, and his desire to abandon mundane things.
Firstly, the primary reason that informed his decision to leave his home for the wilderness was his desire to experience a life without worldly possessions. In the buildup to his journey, McCandless had fallen out with his father. Their relationship had turned sour, and he couldn’t accept the world around him. Although insufficient information described their relationship, it was clear that McCandless felt mistreated by his loved ones. Also, unlike most human beings, worldly desires were not enough for him since he wanted Joy and happiness. He, therefore, decided to forego everything, including his car, his luxurious life, and his money in the bank that he donated to charity and also set his wallet on fire (Krakauer). In one of the books found with his remains, the passage “Rather than money, than love, give me truth…” was highlighted (Krakauer). According to Krakauer McCandless’ problem with his father emanated from his father’s marital issues. In my opinion, his relationship with his father made him lose faith, and he sought to discover new things in the wild. Also, McCandless wasn’t impressed by his father’s bigamist life that was against his moral convictions (Krakauer). The book illustrates his remorseful nature and the hatred he had against his parents and father. McCandless wanted a completely different life, and to do that, McCandless chose to embark on a journey into the wilderness. His life around rich, self-centered people was tiring, and he found joy in the wild. In essence, Chris McCandless viewed himself as someone who could survive without possessions, money, and family members and moved into the wilderness to test his limits.
Secondly, his stubborn personality played an essential role in his decision to move into the wilderness. Throughout his life, McCandless found it hard to conform to the rules and ideals the society presented to him. For instance, while working at the McDonalds, the law requiring him to wear socks did not appeal to him. The assistant manager stated that he followed the rules expecting him to put socks on, but immediately after his shift, he would remove them (Krakauer). The illustration showed his stubbornness and his dislike of authority, and I believe that he left for the wilderness to be free. Also, rules and regulations in society limited his self-expression, and he felt that the wild would enable him to live at per with his convictions. For instance, his manager’s constant complains about his poor hygiene led to his resignation (Krakauer). His decision to move into the wilderness showed his courage and ability to pursue what he wanted. In life, not many people follow their desires due to fear of condemnation from society. However, his courage, ego, and passion eventually resulted in his demise. Also, the author illustrated that there was no man of equal genius, even though it led to his demise. Therefore despite his death, he was a happy man because he achieved freedom from the burdening rules and regulations of society. Consequently, he had a chance to live a life he ever wished for that gave him freedom.
Finally, his passion for adventure played a critical role in his decision to leave his society and move into the wild. His love for the experience was endless ever since his first backpacking trip when only eight years old. It continued to grow as he aged until he abandoned everything and moved into the wild. In a letter to Ron, McCandless indicated that passion for adventure forms the core for every man’s living spirit (Krakauer). He lived a life believing that life’s prime purpose is to explore what nature provides. Also, the last letter he wrote to Wayne highlighted his obsession with adventure when he wrote that it was the last time Wayne could hear from him as he moved into the wild (Krakauer). In my opinion, his love for nature blinded his thoughts since he forgot about the precautions people take. All he wanted was to move into the wild and test his limits, an action that later cost his life. His passion for adventure emphasized by the fact that most of his travels were on foot. For example, he refused an offer from Wayne, who offered him a plane ticket by saying, “flying would be cheating” (Krakauer). Also, he indicated in his journal that the real meaning of life is discovered from the joy of living life optimally, the memories and experiences people have (Krakauer). The message derived from his journal is that he was happy to have moved into the wild and shared no regrets. Therefore his love for adventure played a vital role in his decision to move into the wild.
Ultimately, Chris McCandless’ decision to move into the wild was motivated by his sense of adventure, his inability to submit to the rules of the community due to his stubborn personality, and his desire to abandon worldly things. Firstly, the primary reason that informed his decision to leave his home for the wilderness was his desire to experience a life without earthly possessions. Unlike most human beings, worldly desires were not enough for him since he wanted Joy and happiness. He, therefore, decided to forego everything, including his car, his luxurious life, and his money in the bank that he donated to charity and set his wallet on fire. Secondly, his stubborn personality played a vital role in his decision to move into the wilderness. Throughout his life, McCandless found it hard to conform to the rules and ideals the society presented to him.
Consequently, despite his death, he was a happy man because he achieved freedom from the burdening rules and regulations of the community. Finally, his passion for adventure also played a role in his decision to abandon his society. His love for adventure was endless ever since his first backpacking trip when only eight years old. It continued to grow as he aged until he abandoned everything and moved into the wild. All he wanted was to run into the wild and test his limits, an action that later cost his life.
Krakauer, Jon. Into the wild. Anchor, 2009.