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Tragic Foolishness or Heroic Idealism of Chris McCandless

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    Tragic foolishness or heroic idealism? This is the dilemma in describing Chris McCandless and his journey. Chris was a city boy and scholar from Virginia who sat out to seek a new life for himself. His exact reasons still remain unknown, but what we do know is that he burned most of his possessions, abandoned his car and changed his name. Chris corpse was found in the wilderness of Alaska, by moose hunters. Chris’ death was the result of tragic foolishness and unrealism idealism.

    ​Christopher McCandless was described by many to be a very stubborn but determined boy. “He had a question for everything.” (Krakauer) and when he didn’t know something, he always made sure to ask through question about the topic. Thus he was also cunning aside from being headstrong. As such even possessing traits such cunningness and stubbornness that wasn’t enough to save Chris from his tragic fate.

    ​Chris’ journey started in Atlanta, Georgia where he abandoned his car, burned most of his possessions and money- what money that wasn’t burned was donated to charity- Chris then changed his name to Alex then set off. After months on his journey Chis, now Alex, finally reach Cartridge. Where he settled down for a short period of time. He was well like by his peers and boss. But he didn’t like to accept handouts which did bothered some of the folks that lived there.

    After his time in Cartridge not all is known about Chris’ journey because he stopped photographing and keeping log of his journey till he reached Alaska. Chris refused to accept almost anything from people especially if they were materialistic items.

    ​Once Chris reached Alaska he met a local electrician Gallien. Gallien drove Alex to Ridgeview, meaning while during the trip Gallien noticed that Alex was severely unprepared to make a living in the Alaskan bush. Gallien even offered to drive Alex to Fairbank to buy gear for him. Alex refused, claiming he will just make do. Alex pepper Gallien with thoughtful questions “asking about eatable fruits…what was the game like.” (Krakauer). Even though Chris is stubborn he is not stupid enough not to head into the bush without knowledge.

    ​When Chris’ body was found in an abandoned buss wrapped in a blanket. After an autopsy its most likely that he died of starvation. Even though he was only 20 miles from a active highway. It was most likely his foolish stubborn mentality of not relaying on anyone and being free that cost him his life.

    ​In the end, Chris McCandless’ journey was an admirable one, but his own foolishness cost him, his life. To think he could live in the Alaskan bush with nothing but a bag of rice and nothing but a dream, was a fools’ endeavor.

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    Tragic Foolishness or Heroic Idealism of Chris McCandless. (2022, Apr 28). Retrieved from

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