Into The Wild - Caryn Mays          

Into The Wild Essay


Caryn Mays
Chris McCandless

Young people want adventure. They want to get out of the sight of their parents and live their own life, having their own stories to tell. Chris McCandless was no different. He took that adventure to an extreme through his foolhardy actions. Whether he was running away from something or running to something, he was unprepared for the adventure he was setting for himself. While he seems to be both running away from and running to something, his actions are also foolhardy.

McCandless seems to both run away from his troubles, as well as run to a new life. The personal home life he was running from was something anyone would want to run from. From what his sister described in the film, their family life was not a pleasant one. “He didn’t see the world in gray at all, everything was either black and white, right or wrong, and he was a young man that wanted to test himself.” He was running away from a terrible world that he lived in to get to a picturesque one of wilderness. He thought he could prepare himself for his adventure he would partake in, but he couldn’t.
While he was running from his troubles, he was also running to a new life. He could have run away from family troubles without going into the wilderness. He had tons of space away from his family to hide. But his imagination took control. He imagined life and a way of survival that he couldn’t help but try and implement. His imagination made him want to try something new, and to test his boundaries. He thought he could do more than he could. “Chris had a dream and he went out and fulfilled it.” He wasn’t only running away, but he was also striving for something; striving for something that he wasn’t prepared for.

Chris was not as prepared as he thought he was. He hadn’t quite grasped concept of good nature vs. bad nature. He had taught himself the food he could eat in his preparation before hand, but once he was starving in the wilderness, he made the mistake to eat an inedible plant. He hadn’t figured out all of the tricks to surviving, and that was a problem. He didn’t know that there was a gauging station not far from where he tried to cross the river. Had he known about the gauging station that he was relatively close to, his life could have been saved. He could have crossed the river and mended his connections with civilization. McCandless didn’t prepare himself as he could have as he foolhardily went into the wilderness, running both to and from something.

Chris was a typical young person. He wanted to get away from life and have an adventure. But he did so foolhardily. He wasn’t ready for what he was going to do; not prepared to live in the wilderness. He was running as fast as he could to go on his adventure, and in doing so, even his training couldn’t help him predict his demise in the wilderness. Chris wasn’t ready for his adventure, no matter what he was running from or to.

Caryn Mays




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