Henry David Thoreau In Comparison To Chris McCandless

Read Summary

Henry Thoreau was an advocate for individual freedom and a strong opponent of slavery and war. He spent two years living in a cabin he built on Ralph Wald Emerson’s land in Walden pond, during which he engaged in reading and writing. This experience inspired his famous book, Walden, which advocates for simple living in natural surroundings and personal independence. Thoreau’s work was read by Chris McCandless during his personal journey of freedom as depicted in the movie Into The Wild. While both men shared a disdain for society and a desire for simplicity, Thoreau’s journey was for the purpose of writing his book, while McCandless’s journey was a getaway from society. Thoreau’s philosophical movement was known as Transcendentalism, which protested the general state of culture and society, and many would consider McCandless a Transcendentalist due to his actions towards the end of his life.

Table of Content

He had very strong feelings against slavery. And very much opposed government from waging war. This is just one way of how he showed that he was all for the freedom Of people. He lived alone in a cabin he built on his good friend Ralph Wald Emerson land in Walden pond for 2 years. During this time he kept himself busy with lots of reading and writing. These two years in Walden pond were his inspiration for his famous book Named “Walden”. Walden is a book about simple living in natural surroundings.

It is partly a declaration of personal independence. A quote from this book says “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. ” This quote shows a common interest in both Chris Mishandles and Henry Thoreau as they are both uninterested in things that create lies in the world. Anything that complicates their simple living lifestyle is not important to them. Much of his work was read by Chris Mishandles during the grand journey of personal freedom he took on as you’ve all seen in the movie Into he wild.

The difference between the men is that Henry went on his journey for the book, although he did have negative feeling toward society the real reason for his journey was because he felt the book would be better written if he was experiencing the lifestyle first hand. Rather than writing from research and what he though it was like not what he knew it was like. Chris took this journey as a get away from all the things he hated, society being a main one of them.

Chris went to the extreme of burning his money ND destroying his car, Henry was more prepared for his journey and survived it because he had it planned out and kept in mind the option of going home to his normal life. Chris decided things on the spot leaving him with many possible outcomes, leading to a horribly sad death. How this relates to “Into The Wild” Henry was a Transcendentalist which is basically known as the philosophical movement as a protest to the general state of culture and society. Many would consider Chris as one because of his actions during the end of his life.

Cite this page

Henry David Thoreau In Comparison To Chris McCandless. (2017, Jul 19). Retrieved from


Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront