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My Book Review: Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

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    The book I decided to read for my indy choice was Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer. I chose this book because watching the movie and hearing about his story was just not enough. I wanted to learn more about Chris Mccandless and his long journey from a young intelligent college graduate to an Alaskan voyager living his life on his own. I got drawn in by his situation and thought processes. He questioned life and reality on what it truly meant to be free.

    Chris felt that people were dumb and basically sheep to society. He set out on a long journey alone to explore the wilderness and free living side of life. Throughout his travels, which basically lead him to the wild and wilderness, he seeks pleasure and joy to fill the void he was missing from his life back home. Along his way he connects with multiple people who vary in their own feelings and venture out to have the feeling of moving on or escape from the past to enjoy life once again. These people shape Chris’s life and help him through his journey. Along the way, he lives under his own rules, and learns about himself and the kind of man he is.

    My favorite event in Into The Wild is Chris’s “Canoe Trip”. Chris buys a canoe in Arizona, planning to take it down the Colorado river to the Pacific Ocean and then cross the border of Mexico. Chris eventually makes it into Mexico through a dams floodgate but realizes he is going the wrong way. He hit a dead end a few more times, but a duck hunter gave him a ride the rest of the way. He eventually gets to where he needs to go and paddles out to sea.

    Chris is now living on five pounds of rice and the fish that he can catch. He sets up camp at a plateu, but the high winds shortly force him to abandon it for a cave. I believe this adventure gave Chris his confidence to survive in Alaska. Chris seems to believe that if he can do it in Mexico, he can do it in Alaska. This section in the book was my favorite because it showed Chris’s will and strength to survive and continue on his long journey. In my opinion I do not agree with Chris and his decision to just up and leave everything behind, but I did gain respect and admiration for him after reading about this scene. Chris faced hardships and environmental conditions that he could not change on his own but he adapted and worked through them.

    The societal issue in Into The Wild is “Man vs. Wild/Society”. Chris does not want to be a sheep to society or to be accepted by everyone else, that does not make him happy. An example from the book is right from the beginning he leaves his car and family, and gives away all of his money. He leaves without a single word and changes his own identity, exclaiming “I’ll be through with them once and for all, forever” (Krauker 41). Chris hated the norm and wanted to be accepted by himself and only him, not by society or anyone else. Chris meets a man named Ron on his journey. They both question the lifestyles of each other. He says to Ron:

    “ I think you should make a radical change in your lifestyle and do things you never thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. In reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future”.

    This societal issue in my opinion is not so huge in the world today like others but it is still there. Chris wanted a different more wild, wilderness, nature side of life. He conquered that quest but as a cost of his life. In today’s world we see more of depression, anxiety, drug abuse, addiction etc. as societal issues but this issue is a man who was not okay with just being normal, he wanted to be different. He wanted to be known as more than just the average Joe of life. He wanted more out of life but not to say he did not suffer from depression because he did. Chris went through depression as shown in the book. He could not get over the family issues that his parents had, the fighting that would occur but he never truly shown his true feelings towards it.

    Jon Krakauer main idea of his novel Into The Wild: Chris Mccandless aka: Alexander Supertramp set out for a quest of true happiness through the wilderness of nature and self-living instead of through common based society. Chris grew up in a wealthy suburb family and graduates from Emory University. He shortly leaves everything behind for a long journey to Fairbanks, Alaska. The book portrays Chris as maybe a little crazy by his peers and sometimes uncertain.

    “I also begged and pleaded with him to call his parents. I can’t imagine anything worse than having a son out there and not knowing where he’s at for years and years, not knowing whether he’s living or dead. ‘Please call them!” (Krauker 110).

    Stuckey says this to Chris as he drops him off. Chris traveled on his quest for true happiness. Chris wanted to leave everything behind and get away from the constant nonsense, especially from his parents.

    “I’m going to completely knock them out of my life. I’m going to divorce them as my parents once and for all and never speak to either of those idiots again as long as I live. I’ll be through with them once and for all, forever” (Krauker 41).

    He wanted to live out his life on his own regards and not under anyone else’s rule.

    The book review I used was from the New York Times. I have to say that I agree with the review. I agree that the New York Times has said Krauker and Chris both outgrew the dangerous risks. Chris eventually wanted out of the wild and back into society but it was too late. Mr. Krakauer writes. ”It can be argued that youthful derring-do is in fact evolutionarily adaptive, a behavior encoded in our genes. McCandless, in his fashion, merely took risk-taking to its logical extreme.” (New York Times 10).

    That review offered a view of people reading from a outside source have a lot of remorse or no remorse for Chris. I never thought of having opinion on Chris and his death but only on his decision to start his journey. A man has said that Chris was basically dumb for what he had done. As one angry Alaskan put it in a letter to the author: ”While I feel for his parents, I have no sympathy for him. Such willful ignorance” (New York Times 3). People may have or disagreed with Chris and have strong feelings about his death.

    Reading this book had not really changed my view on society because Chris was different than most people and just wanted a life of his own. It has shown me though that playing the norm in life and being the exact same as other people is not the way to be. I believe it is okay to be different and your very own way. Reading the book I connected with Chris and his feelings towards certain things such as people being sheep to society and being followers of others. I agree that everyone is too much of the same now and there is not much variety in this world. I would absolutely recommend this book to others because it opens the eye to near views about life and the world around us.

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