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The Book “Into the Wild”

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In the book “Into the Wild” is a story of Christopher McCandless as narrated by Jon Krakauer, who reveals that the young man had the desire of living for in the Denali National Park for some time, and also stated that there were some consequences that may await him. Christopher McCandless born to Billie and Walt McCandless, he and his sister were raised in the comfortable upper middle-class environs of Annandale, Virginia. His father, Walt, is an eminent aerospace engineer who designed advanced radar system for the shuttle and other high-profile projects while in the employ of NASA and Hughes Aircraft in the 1960s.

He gave up all he had some money to charity, burnt part of his money, changed his name to Alex and set out on adventure. Chris met some people who were kind to him, some tried to build closer relationship with him, and some tried to talk him out from going on his adventure, such as Gallien who tried but could not stop him from heading into the wild on April 28, 1992 and decided that Chris will be fine (Krakauer 7) indicates a note of tragedy that might continue throughout the book.

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Alex’s decomposed body was discovered inside the bus 142 that was abandoned by the construction workers by Sushana River, which serves as refuge for hunters and wanderers that may pass through that area. His body was discovered by an Anchorage couple on the September 6th 1992 reported that there was “bad smell “ coming from the bus, although they didn’t go into the bus but they were close enough to had noticed the smell and the SOS note signed by “Chris McCandless” taped to the door of the bus. Prior to his decision to embark on his adventure journey, Wayne Westerberg remember his encounter with Chris, they had met in Montana, where he was a manager of combine crew. Westerberg had gave him a ride, bought food for him, and allowed him to sleep in his trailer during a heavy rain storm. And worked with Westerberg, and even cohabited with his fellow staffs. There were indications that he was not really a depressed or mentally challenged person, he even love to people, such as him giving Westerberg a parting gift a treasure 1942 edition of Toyst Woy’s War and Peace.

Christopher McCandless is said to have a transcendent Nature/ Holiness/ Spirituality because of his mysterious or adventurous life style. This young man emerged from a wealthy and comfortable middle class family. He was a graduate of Emory University, he decided to give away his savings to charity, gave up his belongings before embarking on an adventure. This act of self-denial and act of kindness, some people can see as an act of godliness or spirituality; despite the fact that Krakauer never mentioned in this book that Christopher McCandless was affiliated to any religion or church, but Krakauer stated that Christopher was an admirer of Henry David Thoreau, and adopted many of the writer’s ideals in his own life. He sought simplicity in his own life and tried to live without adhering to material goods and societal norms. Chris also believed that people were meant to ‘find themselves’ through deliberate solitude, and so took steps to live in isolation from others or self-imposed exile. Christopher, believed in purity of oneself and sees engaging in sexual activities for self-gratification as not worth doing. This explains why some of his favorite quotes were the ones that inspired him, and from authors he held with high esteem, such as the one below by Boris Pasternak, is important because it shows some of the things that Christopher McCandless deemed very important in life and why he admire the work of some writers, and It was a passage of the books found with his remains (the book is Doctor Zhivago), underscored by Christopher McCandless.

Now what is history? It is the centuries of systematic explorations of the riddle of death, with a view to overcoming death. That’s why people discover mathematical infinity and electromagnetic waves, that’s why they write symphonies. Now, you can’t advance in this direction without spiritual equipment. And the basic elements of this equipment are in the Gospels. What are they? To begin with, love of one’s neighbor, which is the supreme form of vital energy. Once it fills the heart of man it has to overflow and spend itself. And then he is unthinkable-the idea of free-personality and the idea of life as sacrifice. (Krakauer page 187)

The fact that Christopher McCandless still wanted to continue on with his adventure after losing 25 pounds, and facing everything that he has faced, is truly amazing and a little insane at the same time. Chris also admitted on one of his journal that his “spirit is soaring” which verifies how vivacious and eager to live McCandless must have been. It proves that he probably was an innately very good person, and most people could learn a thing or two about positivity and character from him which is persistence and focus on his goal. Furthermore, Chris, despite all he encountered during his journey his spirit was unbroken, according to the testimony written by the German couple Thomas and Karin, who had given Christopher McCandless a ride earlier “Can this be the same Alex that set out in July, 1990? Malnutrition and the road have taken their toll on his body. Over 25 pounds lost. But his spirit is soaring” (page 37).

Although Christopher seemed to poses some spiritual or holiness qualities, but he was not really a saint. This is because he told lies to people about his true identity, he held grudges and resentment against his parents; he also drinks alcoholic beverage. Example: On his last night with Westerberg and Borah, McCandless entertains a bar full of Carthage locals by playing the piano. Together, the three polish off a great deal of Jack Daniels, one of McCandless’s favorite drinks. In the morning, McCandless’s friends see him off, and Borah discovers he is crying as he says goodbye to her.

It seems that Christopher McCandless had the desire to set himself aside, to be able to rediscover himself, and that explains the reason why some part of him yarns for holiness, see god as the provider and materialism as not worth worshiping. According to Krakauer, “Chastity and moral purity were qualities McCandless mulled over long and often. Indeed, one of the books found in the bus with his remains was a collection of stories that included Tolstoy’s ‘The Kreutzer Sonata,’ in which the nobleman-turned ascetic denounces ‘the demand of the flesh.’” So from every indication Chris developed the moral purity and celibacy qualities over time; this is why some of the novels associated Chris’ reading were books that pointed towards that direction. In the works of novelists Tolstoy and Pasternak, he underlined passages about the dangers of sex and falsehood. In work by Thoreau he underlines and stars passages about the importance of self-reliance and of eating a vegetarian diet. Krakauer takes McCandless’s reading seriously, as he expects the reader to understand the importance; and how it relates to the moments in which McCandless record a kind of religious ecstasy seriously, sometimes comparing him to a monk or other spiritual figure outright.

Finally, it is important to note that Krakauer, also presents evidence that suggests Christopher McCandless may have changed his mind about the value of other people, but cannot call it conclusive, since McCandless dies before he can find a way back to civilization

“I have had a happy life and thank the lord, goodbye and may god bless all!” (Krakauer page 199) this statement according to the book indicated that Chris might have died a happy man, and for him to have said prayer indicated that he had the moral or spiritual belief in his heart.

In conclusion, Christopher McCandless was presented in this publication by Krakauer as a humble, intelligent, and kind hearted young man, who sought adventure in to the wild. The author also suggested that Chris over the period developed chastity and moral spirituality. Chris encountered lots of challenges during his adventurous journey in the wild, but he was not broken rather he stated in his journal that he died a happy man.

Cite this The Book “Into the Wild”

The Book “Into the Wild”. (2021, May 17). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/the-book-into-the-wild/

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