Into The Wild - Abby Slaubaugh        

Into The Wild Essay

Abby Slaubaugh

Jon Krakauer, author of Into the Wild, believes that Chris McCandless is a fascinating and admirable young man along with many readers and admirers of the book and Chris’s story. After reading Into the Wild, I can say I agree with Krakauer: that Chris McCandless is an admirable person. He was happiest being a nomad, with no permanent residence, all the freedom he could get, and having a big, endless adventure in the wild.

In Chapter 3, Krakauer states how after McCandless’s high school graduation he specifically said, “I think I’m going to disappear for a while.” Chris would leave on solo driving expeditions in his yellow Datsun which he had bought himself. Chris always had a calling for adventure, and to be alone on his adventures as well. One trait that made McCandless interesting to the public was the fact that he was so alright with being alone, and perfectly happy to drop everything and go out to explore. Compared to today’s society this type of behavior is highly unlikely to find, which makes him interesting to read about and learn about.

McCandless’s nomadic behavior didn’t suddenly come to him in college or after high school, his normality to be alone was there from a young age. McCandless’s sister stated, “even when we were little, he was very to himself. He wasn’t antisocial- he always had friends, and everyone liked him- but he could go off and entertain himself for hours. He didn’t seem to need toys or friends. He could be alone without being lonely.” McCandless’s nomadic behavior was apparent when he was a kid. It was something that most kids aren’t like, he proves that he went against society and how he wasn’t normal, but in a good way. Many people wish to be able to be like Chris, able to just be on their own without getting lonely. In his own way, he is inspiring to many people who just feel the need to seclude themselves for their own good and their own happiness as Chris was happiest on his own.

On the road, Chris burnt his money, left behind all his belongings, and traveled with the clothes on his back and the knowledgeable information that was in his bag. The only money he would have to spend on new adventures was the money people would give him, or from the multiple jobs he’d get. In Carthage, South Dakota, McCandless worked for a grain farmer. “Didn’t matter what it was, he’d do it: hard physical labor, mucking rotten grain and dead rats out of the bottom of the hole- jobs where you’d get so dirty you couldn’t even tell what you looked like at the end of the day.” Chris would work for money to afford new adventures, such as Alaska gear and a canoe he bought once. McCandless would never save money to spend on himself, it was always money for some idea that came into his head.
Krakauer believes McCandless was an amazing person, who was abnormal and enjoyable to learn about. I agree with Krakauer, I believe Chris deserves the good media attention as he went against society’s normal standards at the time.

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