Taking Risks Is a Part of Living Life

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According to John Eldredge, the soul resists being controlled and desires passion, freedom, and life. This desire for freedom can be seen in “Death of an Innocent” by Jon Krakauer, where a determined young person, Chris McCandless, defied societal norms and pursued his individuality. Chris, who was adventurous and prone to taking risks, relied on his curiosity as he embarked on a journey to establish his identity.

Taking risks can be difficult, but it helps people to grow, be challenged and mature. Knowing the consequences, Chris took risks to find out who he really was as an individual. Jon Krakauer would describe that “McCandless, in his fashion, merely took risk taking to its logical extreme” (Krakauer 10). Chris showed that he was a risk-taker by going to the extreme to know who he was. Chris went into the wilderness with nothing to help him while he was out there. Chris risked his life and risked hurting his family in the process. Chris’ mother, Billie, talked unenthusiastically about Chris and how she did not “understand why he had to take those kind of chances” (Krakauer 9). Chris showed that he was a risk-taker by going out and trying to see if the wilderness would reveal anything about himself, although his family did not understand why he was doing it. By taking risks, Chris got closer to finding who he was in the wilderness. Even though Chris understood the results of his actions, he used irrational actions to truly discover himself.

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Curiosity is a powerful driving force. Chris McCandless, driven by his own curiosity, ventured into the wilderness to gain a deeper understanding of the world. Meanwhile, poet Alistair Reed suggests in his poem “Curiosity” that a lack of curiosity leads to demise (Reed). Chris’s actions demonstrate his profound curiosity as he defied the potentially fatal consequences of not pursuing it. He actively sought to uncover new knowledge and experiences. In a letter to his friend Westerberg, while residing in Bullhead, Arizona, Chris expressed eagerness for spring because it ignited his intense desire to explore new territories (Krakauer 5). Always on the move, this young individual used his curiosity as a guide to unravel the mysteries the world held for him. Throughout his wilderness journey, Chris’s curiosity propelled him forward ultimately leading him closer to self-discovery. His wandering spirit and restless nature reinforced his inherent curiosity and motivated him to uncover the world that awaited him in the wilderness.

Everyone desires to feel special and avoid being average. During his journey in Alaska, Chris endeavored to discover his life’s purpose and demonstrate that he was above average. Westerberg praised Chris’s intelligence, stating that “he always needed to know the exact right answer before moving forward” (Krakauer 4). This young man refused to accept ambiguity and would not progress until obtaining a definitive answer. He consistently sought to prove that every question had a conclusive answer. In an interview, Madonna expressed her drive in life as stemming from a fear of mediocrity, stating “even though I am Somebody, I still have to prove that I’m Somebody” (Madonna). Chris related to this mindset by constantly seeking validation that he was not a nobody but indeed somebody. He ventured into the wilderness to search for his life’s purpose and validate his uniqueness. Chris sought meaning in life and strived to justify that he was far from ordinary.

Chris McCandless, a curious individual in his twenties, employed his inquisitive nature in an endeavor to discover his true self. Despite the potential repercussions, he ventured into the unknown with a willingness to embrace risks, driven by his unwavering determination. By immersing himself in the wilderness, Chris sought to not only find his own identity but also comprehend the essence of the world. Within the vast expanse of nature, he yearned to ascertain his purpose in life and defy the stereotype of being an ordinary young adult. The pursuit of life’s meaning necessitates venturing into unfamiliar territories, even if it feels uncomfortable.

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Taking Risks Is a Part of Living Life. (2022, Dec 23). Retrieved from


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