Into The Wild - Kyle Courtney          

Into The Wild Essay

Kyle Courtney
Honors World Literature
Mr. Epifanio
Into The Wild Essay

In the book Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, the journey of a brave boy named Christopher “Alex Supertramp” McCandless is explored as he goes on his adventure to Alaska. Although there are many people who set on voyages to find themselves and inner peace, Chris is different from them. Although he was on a journey to find inner peace, he was also looking for the meaning of life, and the meaning of happiness.

Through his journey Chris got what he was looking for and much more. Although Chris didn’t like to be around people much and was shy, by the end of his journey he learned that, “Happiness is only real when shared,” (Krakauer, 189). This was a huge deal because all throughout his life Chris kept to himself and wanted to be alone. After being out in the wilderness for a year he realized that he wanted to become a part of civilization and that in itself was an accomplishment of his voyage. Even though he never made it out of the wilderness, his words are shared with society to learn from his mistakes. Taking a break from people is fine but eventually you crave human contact. Like Dave Korn says in his paper Into The Wild, “Maybe his search for solitude wasn’t so callous and misanthropic after all; maybe a small part of him clung to society the whole time.”

As said by Rebecca LaMarche, “Many people call his actions selfish and cruel, but others believe that while it may have been self-centered, it was a noble and necessary change for him.” Indeed this trip to Alaska was necessary for Chris. One thing he wanted so badly was to find inner peace. It seems as though all throughout his life that’s what he looked for and the only way he would have been able to find it was by doing the one thing he loved more than anything, traveling. Alaskans may critique the way he went so unprepared on a long trip and call him, “stupid” and “crazy”. But was he really? Yes, he wasn’t as prepared as he should be and in the end that cost him his life, but wouldn’t you say that he was brave for taking a chance to do something he loved? He wasn’t like most of society, in the sense that he didn’t want material things. His parents wanted to buy him a new car and he turned that down. He even burned the money he had when he went on his adventure so that he could live off the land. But in the end he found the inner peace that some millionaires don’t find in their life.

Jessica Robbins brought up a good point in her essay Not All Who Wander Are Lost. She says, “One of society’s greatest fears today is death. We’re so wrapped up in our fears of the unknown, and what we haven’t experienced in our lives. But Chris, on the brink of death, is not hiding in fear, but smiling. I firmly believe it is because he found his happiness, his passion, his meaning of life; living simply in nature, in the wild.” He also found his inner peace. Chris’s last note was, “I have had a happy life and thank the lord. Goodbye and May God bless all!” (Krakauer, 199) After that he crawled into his sleeping bag that his mother, who he had not spoken to in two years, had sewn for him, which is his way of showing balance within.

Chris McCandless may have made many mistakes in his young life, but who doesn’t make mistakes? He died having been happy with his life and his accomplishments, which to some may be strange, but he honestly left the world at peace.


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