Chris Mccandless: Pittance Or Brilliance

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Chris McCandless: Pittance or Brilliance
August, 1992. A hiker, Chris McCandless, is found dead in an abandoned bus near Healy, Alaska. Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, details this hiker’s journey; however, many other papers and journals were printed discussing what he was doing in Alaska as well as why he died. Many thought that he was stupid and ill-prepared for the Alaskan wilderness; though, anyone who sought out more information on this topic would clearly see that he was quite the opposite. The thoughts he had about his family turned dark and argument-filled, and this declining curve of bad thoughts steepened after vital secrets were revealed, leading to his eventual exodus. Moreover, his views on society were both formed from his own
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Chris argued that “no one... really understands [sic]” why he was there or what we had to do (Krakauer 64). He also felt that there wasn’t “anyone... who would have more than a partial understanding” of it(Krakauer 64). Throughout the duration of her book, The Wild Truth, Carine described how her family fueled his decision to leave. Carine once wrote that “Chris’s seemingly inexplicable behavior during the final years of his life was in fact explained by the volatile dynamics of my [the McCandless] family while he was growing up”(McCandless xv). Krakauer also writes how Chris changed because of his family when Carine described what Chris was like after the El Segundo incident, where CHris learned of a scandal with his father and his ex-wife: “He [Chris] later declared to Carine and others that the deception committed by Walt and Billie made his ‘entire childhood seem like a fiction’”(Krakauer 85). Both sources show how Chris’s family life indeed created reason to abandon his previous life. Chris once said that you do not need “anyone else to bring [a] new kind of light in your life”(Krakauer 41). This relates to his belief that you need to be your own person. This is an example of what Chris learned through transcendentalism, as he followed many of its ideals. For example, in one of Thoreau’s unmarked journals(1838-1859) once connected disobedience and freedom: “Disobedience is the true …show more content…
Chris decided to diverge from the set path of society, and make his own mark, his own decisions,and his own life. One example of this came about during high school. Chris’s friend, Hathaway, reminisced of his youth with his friend: “We spent…[a] few hours hanging out in creepy places, talking with pimps and hookers and lowlifes”(Krakauer 79). Hathaway recalled that Chris “did that kind of thing a lot”(Krakauer 79). And this completely embodies McCandless. He needed to experience what he believed in. He was unhappy with how society brushed off the less fortunate. Connecting, the website Trading Economics and The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics both showed that the unemployment rate in the U.S. was at an all-time-high of “almost 12%” in 1985(Trading Economics/U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In addition, their graphs showed how “the unemployment rate increased throughout” McCandless’s childhood, eventually dropping after 1990(Trading Economics/U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). This is just one thing that McCandless would have seen as a problem. Chris went out into the world wanting to experience what he wanted to stop. He once wrote in the margins of Thoreau’s Walden that “Circumstance has no value”(Krakauer 115). He believed events only have value “in the personal relationship[s] to a phenomenon”(Krakauer 115). That belief of