Tuck MW 5PM
3 December 2014
Literary Analysis of Into the Wild In John Krakauers Into the Wild, the main character is a man named Christopher McCandless. Christopher was born in El Segundo, California, but was raised in Virginia. Chris was the first of two children to Walt and Billie McCandless. He was an introvert and enjoyed doing things differently than what was considered to be normal, these are traits that he continued to display into adulthood. Chris loved the outdoors. His passion for being an outdoorsman started at an early age. Throughout the story the reader begins to notice subtle changes in Chris’s behavior and personality leading many to believe that he suffered from a mental disorder. Chris had a comfortable upbringing, living an upper middle class lifestyle. His family was always traveling and going on adventures. From a young age, Chris showed signs of being an introvert. He always enjoyed being by himself but never lacked friends. He was an excellent student and athlete. Always being at the top of his class and participating in sports such as track and filed. Chris attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia and on May 12, 1990, he graduated with a Bachelor's degree, double majoring in history and anthropology. After he graduated Chris went through a great change. He decided to give his inheritance he received from an aunt to a charity. He wrote a check totaling 24,000 dollars and decided to load up his Datsun and begin his adventure. During the early summer months of 1990, Chris arrived at the Lake Mead Nation Recreational Area in Nevada. He camped out for a few days
Vazquez 2 until a flash flood trapped his beloved Datsun in the thick clay Nevada mud and he was forced to abandon it. Chris decided to pack up his things and continue to head west, eventually hitch-hiking his way to Lake Tahoe, California. Soon after that he traveled north and ended up in Carthage, South Dakota, on September 10th, 1990 Chris met a man named Wayne Westerberg. Chris introduces himself as Alex Supertramp an alter-ego he created. Wayne and Alex form a friendship and Wayne offers Alex a job. Only a month into his stay in Montana Wayne is arrested and Alex begins to feel “itchy feet.”
Christopher decided to head back west toward the Colorado River, where he buys a canoe and decides to embark on an adventure down the river. His plan was to travel all the way down to Mexico and eventually end up in the Gulf of California. He finally reached Mexico and realized he cannot reach the Gulf of California through his planned route, so he hitch-hikes a ride to the ocean. Once back in the United States, Chris ends up back in Carthage, South Dakota and begins to work for Wayne again. Chris is only there for a short while until he decides it’s time for him to leave again. This time his “itchy feet” will take him to Alaska. When Chris arrives in Alaska he has no real plan, so he decides to hitch-hike. As he’s walking along the highway a truck- driving electrician by the name of Jim Gallien takes mercy on him and gives him a ride. While traveling the two spark up a conversation and Chris again introduces himself as Alex Supertramp. After giving Chris some supplies, Jim drops him off at an old mining road.
Chris was estranged from his loving family. Choosing the life of a transient over a stable life. It’s easy to see the beauty in what he did, but are his actions signs of deeper issue? Chris clearly showed signs of being a sociopath. The most obvious are his personality changes. An argument could be made that Chris was using the name “Alex Supertramp” order to evade contact from his parents. But why would Chris use his real name and social security number when he was working for Wayne or at McDonald’s? It seems that he was in a state of delusion, coming back and forth into reality.