Into The Wild - Joseph Lacovara          

Into The Wild Essay

Chris McCandless:
No matter your age, race or where you live on this planet, we all share the fact that we were all once or still are dreamers. Our dreams may be different but there's nothing wrong with that. Many dreamers have shaped our modern world today such as people like Martin Luther King and
Thomas Jefferson. Although they have greatly improved our country, there are many people out there who viewed them as crazy and dumb for following their dreams. Chris McCandless’ critics similarly called him an idiot for following his dream. After all what is life without dreams? The story of Chris McCandless represents the dreamer deep down in all of us and his life stands as an example of courage and perseverance to achieve those dreams. His story acts as a way to enable all of us to learn something about ourselves in the end.

It is one thing to dream and another to believe, however most of us lose sight of those dreams because we either view them as impossible or ridiculous. Chris McCandless was the kind of person who strongly believed in following his dreams and unlike many, he actually followed them. I give him a lot of credit for doing so and he inspires me to follow my dreams. Alot of people say that he was suicidal, however it was his dream that ended up leading to his death. If you think about it though, it is better to have lived and died after achieving your dream rather than living without following your dreams. I think that is the reason why Chris McCandless seemed so accepting of death at the end of his journey. How many other people say, “I have had a happy life and thank the lord. Goodbye and may god bless all” (Krakauer 199), before they die? Chris’s death made me really sad, but this letter made me feel a lot better knowing that he was okay with death.

I think a lot of people also misunderstand Chris because of the fact that he was a very religious person, although he may come off as hating any kind of superior authority when it comes to the government. I disagree with Rebecca Lamarch in that, “Christopher McCandless saw the world in black and white, good and bad, right and wrong, rather like a child does,” after all he did not fully label society as bad because he tried to return to society, however he was unable to pass through the Teklanika river which had gotten a lot deeper and faster. Also if you have any knowledge of religion, you would know that many actions are labelled with good or bad, which is where I think his sense of judgement came from. Just because someone believes so strongly in certain actions being right or wrong, does not mean that they are immature or childish.

Chris is also judged a lot because of the fact that he ended all communication with his family during his entire journey. I agree with Jessica Robbins in that, “I don't believe that he did this to intentionally hurt his family in any way.” He seemed to be such a caring person, his sister even said, “He’d hold my hand when we walked down the street.” Not many brothers are loving enough to do that for any sibling. I don’t think that it was right for him to not send them any word, however I totally understand that he wanted to follow his dreams and he thought that breaking away from his family was the only way to do so. Sometimes in life you have to make hard decisions to follow your own desires and those decisions can affect the people you love, but every
decision in life is not going to be black and white. Sometimes you just have to follow your heart.

Just like David Korn said, “The importance of the story to us lies not in the details of McCandless’ life and his human flaws, but in his relentless striving to embody the ideals we respect so deeply.” We can all take a lot from McCandless’ story and look back on ourselves and the dreamer in all of us. We need to decide the way we truly want to live, not the way society wants us to live. After all you should live your life the way you want to live it, without being judged by society. Thank you Chris for inspiring many people, including me, to follow their dreams. Rest in peace.

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