Into The Wild - Chandler Broadbent          

Into The Wild Essay

As adolescents are minds are so malleable and impressionable that we often believe everything we are told to be the truth. Twenty-four-year-old Christopher McCandless was the exception. He was a strong- willed adventurer who disappeared after graduating college to go on a backpacking trip throughout America, and ended in Alaska. McCandless wanted to prove that your life does not require road maps and plans but that one could be perfectly happy as a free man with just the clothes on his back. After hearing the story of McCandless I was in awe of how a man could give up every penny he had to live as one with nature. Although he ended up dying in the Alaskan interior, his legacy lives on as a pioneer of the blank spots on the map. He is a true inspiration to me and I find it so heartbreaking that he did not have the opportunity to live to share his story today.

What I find so remarkable about Chris McCandless’ story is that ironically he saw his wealth, possessions and upbringing as road blocks in his search for the truth in life. He comes to the early realization that all people want is success and power and that these desires only corrupt us into living shallow, false lives. Not only did this young man refuse to accept the new car his parents offered him at his college graduation, but he also donated his $25,000 life savings to the OXFAM charity, proving his contempt for materialistic things such as money that drive people mad. Chris has inspired a desire in me to long for more than success and wealth, but for depth and spiritual satisfaction that will always fulfill me. McCandless often quoted his favorite author Thoreau when he said, “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” I think this is something that McCandles deeply believed in, to live a happy and more importantly an honest life and I long for the same.

Life in the 21st century has turned into people losing the deep connections they once had with the outdoors and each other, and our lives have become selfish and reserved. McCandless was a huge advocate for valuing the relationships he had with people. He always had the time to talk but more importantly the time to listen. This young man is also an example of how we need to fall in love with nature again. He was so captivated by scenic views, terrain, and wildlife and you do not see that kind of love anymore today. One of my close friends said to me that the happiest moment in his life was when he was standing at the top of a mountain that had never been climbed. I am sure that Christopher McCandless had countless “top of the mountain moments” and thanks to him I long for meaningful relationships not just with people but also with my beautiful surroundings.

Chandler Broadbent

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