why burning his money?

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1098920
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Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:34 pm

why burning his money?

Postby 1098920 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 9:39 pm

Chris burnt his money but had to find jobs to make money… What does the burning of his money represent?

kyle101
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:53 pm

Re: why burning his money?

Postby kyle101 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:20 pm

i think he burnt his money cause he didndt want money to control his life like some peopole he just want to be free from society and the way it worked. he wanted to be free from the goverment and the pressure his parents put on him he just wanted to be by himself and live in the alaskan wildernesss without his parents and the world. so i think it was like him just showing he didnt care about the money cause he new he wouldnt need itin alaska and that he was going to need money but he wanted to get away from that and the goverment so he burned. he wanted toget away from the american dollar.

muffinman127
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Joined: Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:28 pm

Re: why burning his money?

Postby muffinman127 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:51 pm

Re: why burning his money?

Why would chris burn his money? Even though he later found jobs to earn more? Well, i think him burning his money was symbolic to him, it was the last step to distancing him self from society and living off the land. Without this money he couldnt buy food, or tools, or new clothes. From then on i guess his mindset was to live off nature to the fullest. Everything that he experienced would be nature to its fullest, with out the hand of man to alter the adventure his set off on. Eventually, I would imagine Chris became lonely, needed some sort of human contact, he probably figured he could live a minimalistic living and still enjoy nature. As he did with Wayne Westerbug, living off the land, making enough money for a place to sleep and some for fun at the bar.

Husky
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 6:04 am

Re: why burning his money?

Postby Husky » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:53 am

He didn't burn all his money. He had a wallet with identifications and money hidden in a hidden zippered pocket in his pack. The cops didn't find it when they searched his pack when they retrieved his body. The cops left the pack in the bus. A guy found the pack 4 months later and then after 8 or 9 years found the hidden wallet with id's and $300. Eventually he found an address for Chris's sister and returned the pack, wallet and money to her. I think she may have donated the money to a Denali area environmental group. (Somebody posted a picture of the pack and wallet over on Eric's website where you can see how the wallet was hidden.)

Does that change your opinion about Chris? That he didn't burn up all his money and identifications?
Here we are in the years
Where the showman shifts the gears
Lives become careers
Children cry in fear
Let us out of here! Neal Young

Don't let fear stand in the way.
There's nothing to it
but to do it! Husky

erikhalfacre
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Location: Palmer, AK
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Re: why burning his money?

Postby erikhalfacre » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:35 am

He did actually burn his money... at one point. He later earned more and had some with him at the bus, but towards the beginning of his trek around the US, he did burn his cash.
Erik Halfacre - Moderator
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Anewanddifferentsun
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:57 am

Re: why burning his money?

Postby Anewanddifferentsun » Mon Dec 24, 2012 7:41 pm

People need to remember Chris's sources of money were varied. Yes, he had $300 at the end, but nearly two years and several jobs separate that from the money he had at the beginning, which was a combination of cash left over from his college fund and any other cash he might have had in the bank. For all we know, the $123 he burned might have been the last of money his parents had given him, and its burning symbolized his cutting his ties with them (take another look at P. 64 in the book, a passage from a letter to his sister that demontrates the intensity of his feelings toward his folks).
Krakauer's book indicates that Chris had $1,000 on him when he began the trek to Alaska. Before Jim Gallien dropped him off, Chris had purchased a gun, ammo, a camera, some film, and the book on plants, and probably some other stuff we don't know about. It's not hard to see he'd have $300 left over. Ron Lamothe's documentary is the source for Will Forsburg's finding the wallet inside Chris's backpack with $300 in it, as well as numerous pieces of identification, including a Social Security card and his birth certificate. All the pieces of ID are in his real name. Sean Penn's film has scenes with Chris burning his SS card before he leaves Atlanta, and telling the woman at the mission in L.A., that he lost his ID. Clearly, as the movie credits state, these were dramatizations.
Krakauer didn't know about the wallet and the ID Forsburg found inside, but he did have access to Chris's journal, which mentions going to L.A. to get an ID. Krakauer probably didn't know better, but the notion that Chris got rid of his ID and forged a new identity pushed his narrative along. Penn heavily dramatizes as much in the film's ending, in which Chris uses his birth name in signing his farewell note ("by its real name").
Much of the ID Forsburg found in Chris's wallet consisted of pieces from Arizona and Nevada, so it's possible that while in California he wanted to get ID for that specific state, just as he'd gotten an Arizona identification card. This doesn't mean he DIDN'T already have ID. The birth certificate alone shows he did. And it's possible he entered cities WITHOUT his identification, which would be a good move if stopped by a police officer and asked to present something. Early on, he clearly didn't want to be located. Later, however, considering all the ID in his real name, he didn't seem to care anymore. Why? Well, he'd soon be out of the country, so to speak.
Back to the money: early on it seems Chris was completely caught up in some kind of Emersonian/Thoreauvian escapism. Going hungry can push idealism to the back seat in a hurry, however. He realized he needed money; hence the jobs in South Dakota with Westerberg, the Italian restaurant in Las Vegas and the McDonald's in Bullhead City - all of which were still in keeping with Thoreau's own philosophy (one works to earn just enough money on which to live a simple life), so Chris was hardly being hypocritical.

69ers
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 3:36 pm

Re: why burning his money?

Postby 69ers » Mon May 06, 2013 4:12 pm

i think he burnt his money cause he didndt want money to control his life like some peopole he just want to be free from society and the way it worked. he wanted to be free from the goverment and the pressure his parents put on him he just wanted to be by himself and live in the alaskan wildernesss without his parents and the world. so i think it was like him just showing he didnt care about the money cause he new he wouldnt need itin alaska and that he was going to need money but he wanted to get away from that and the goverment so he burned. he wanted toget away from the american dollar.

adrian360
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 3:37 pm

Re: why burning his money?

Postby adrian360 » Mon May 06, 2013 4:34 pm

I don't know why Chris burnned his money because soon after burnning his money he went to look for a job for money. i think he did it because he think money creates bad in the world because people would do anything for money.

ChinnyChin99
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Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 3:35 pm

Re: why burning his money?

Postby ChinnyChin99 » Wed May 08, 2013 12:24 am

Chris burned his money because he feels that in order to start a proper adventure, he had to get rid of everything that would normally help him and start a new and fresh life. He thought that money can't get you everything all the time as there's some stuff that requires money and some that don't. After seeing his father's way of life with doing the same thing over and over again while earning money because of it, he thought that isn't what life is supposed to be since he thinks that his dad is wasting all of his life earning money rather than enjoying the outside. That is why he burned all the money he had in order to start a life in the wild with nothing at all.

ImACokeBoy
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Joined: Mon May 06, 2013 3:44 pm
Location: Ottawa Ontario

Re: why burning his money?

Postby ImACokeBoy » Sat May 11, 2013 2:25 am

I think that he burned all his money because when he started his adventure, I guess he wanted to "Start" his life over again from basically nothing. Yes he did get more jobs along the way but I guess that was a part of his plan, he only needed the money for basic survival, not for luxury.


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