Into and admired his bravery (Krakauer 51). But

    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer tell the story of Chris McCandless: A young man who took a trip across the country from West Virginia to California, and everywhere in between, all leading up to Chris’ final mission: The Great Alaskan Adventure. Jon Krakauer’s book drew attention from many people. Some critics called him crazy and described him as mentally ill, while sympathizers understood his journey and admired his bravery (Krakauer 51). But what type of person was Chris McCandless that drove him to leave everything behind? After reading Into the Wild myself, I was able to come up with my own opinion on Chris McCandless. Chris McCandless was intelligent, yet a naive man whose idealist characteristics, distance from society, love for nature lead him to seek his dream lifestyle in the wild of being a nomadic minimalist.     Chris McCandless was a naive and idealistic young man. Chris’ naiveness was seen early on when Gallien, had to supply him with basic survival materials: “He wasn’t carrying anywhere near as much food and gear as you’d expect a guy to be carrying for that kind of trip,” Gallien recalls” (Krakauer 5). It was Chris’ naive and stubborn ways that ultimately led to his death, as he was undersupplied in the Alaskan wilderness. Chris’ naive and stubborn ways can be connected to his idealistic personality; always staying loyal to his ideals despite them not seeming practical to those he met. Chris’ corrupt family history and the materialistic society around him created his ideals that life should be lived quietly with only the necessities. Critics even compared Chris to Sir John Franklin, “An affable Victorian gentleman, Franklin was said to be a good-natured bumbler, dogged and clueless, with the naive ideals of a child and a disdain for acquiring backcountry skills” (Krakauer 123). By leaving his old life, finally, “he was unencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and material excess, a world in which he felt grievously cut off from the raw throb of existence” (Krakauer 18). Chris McCandless was able to live through his ideals in a place away from society before his death.Chris McCandless’ history of being distant from society was a step forward in his decision to live his life as a nomad. Carine McCandless, Chris’ younger sister, stated, “Even when we were little, he was very to himself. He wasn’t antisocial— he always had friends, and everybody liked him—but he could go off and entertain himself for hours. He didn’t seem to need toys or friends. He could be alone without being lonely” (Krakauer 74). Because Chris was a reserved child, it could have been predicted that he was going to dream of living a lonely nomadic life. Walt McCandless, Chris’ father, said, “Billies dad didn’t quite fit into society, in many ways he and Chris were a lot alike” (Krakauer 75). It is Chris’ own family that noticed he was always distant and different from society, though they did not expect him to leave everything behind when he left for the wild. Before his death, Chris was able to enjoy his dream lifestyle in the natural world he dearly loved.    Chris fulfilled his dream of living off the land for his love of nature before he died. In the book, Lori Zarza, Chris’ second manager at the Bullhead City McDonald’s says, “I don’t think he ever hung out with any of the employees after work or anything. When he talked, he was always going on about trees and nature and weird stuff like” (Krakauer 29). Chris McCandless’ affinity for nature and its freedom are what ultimately led him to leave the corrupt, materialistic world in which he lived in, for the serene wilderness of Alaska. Though he sadly did not get to experience his whole life in the wild due to his death, Chris McCandless was able to get a taste of his dream life for a few years where he could be his true self.     Mentally-ill or a brave follower of dreams? Chris McCandless’ story is interpreted in both ways by critics and by admirers. With Chris’ death, the real reason for why he chose to leave behind his life remains a mystery. However, from Into the Wild, I have concluded that Chris McCandless was an insightful man who let his strong-willed personality end his life. Though cut short, Chris himself wrote that he lived the end of his life how he envisioned it in the wild, “I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD. GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL!” (Krakauer 136).


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