Into The Wild - Nicole Vacas          

Into The Wild Essay

Nicole Vacas
World Literature 4
Who Am I to Talk?: Thoughts on Chris McCandless
All my life, I was raised to believe the society I took part of embraced different cultures as well as accepted different lifestyles, or at least that is what I hope society’s goal was— since under the constitution individuals are given the right to pursuit his or her own happiness. Unfortunately that is not how society functions. See, when the constitution was written, happiness was much more than the value of things, but instead the spirit of adventure and creating a life with unique meaning. Much of today’s society revolves around authorities, and then suddenly happiness evolved to the amount of wealth each individual possessed. Christopher McCandless felt that his life was being lived the way his parents wanted his life to be, and yearned to experience the adventure of finding himself—as cliché as it sounds. He was silencing the pseudo accepting belief of society, to then find something that society might not define as happiness, but McCandless would. And although his search ultimately ended with his death, he was unmistakably finally happy.

I rather think that it is possible to be unique and happy in today’s society than to think I have to go on a survivalist adventure to find happiness. As a teenage individual there are many things that influence my personality and my morals. Much like the way McCandless feels that he is influenced. Chris, like most teenagers, is heavily influenced by his parents to attend college and take part in consumerist actions that Chris did not agree with. Also like many young adults, Chris finds the perfect time to travel at his leisure after graduating college. I could go on about all the similarities between Chris McCandless and all other people in the world to prove the point that Chris does not go through any struggle different than the rest of the world. That said, some have a positive outlook on things, but Chris “didn’t want to be the person society expected him to be” and looked at society in a negative way. This drove him away from his family and his life as a member of society. Maybe if he had more guidance during his teenage years he would be able to find the balance between finding himself and still being part of society because complete isolation is too dangerous to survive especially to the extreme that McCandless took it. Isolation to the point of starvation is not happiness to anyone, especially when in search for independence and happiness.

In reality, I have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m not David Korn, I can’t go into the wilderness myself to try to experience what McCandless did. I’m not Jessica Robbins with her clear and concise writing skills — seriously, I can totally hear her talking to me while reading. I’m Nicole, and honestly think that Chris was just a kid who lost his way trying to find his way. He created a new persona because he didn’t like what Chris McCandless stood for, Alex Supertramp was a way to be reborn in a way. A gateway into living the life he truly wanted for himself, but at the end of the day Alex finds out that he can’t live without a little help from his friends, and Chris ends up dying. So, pursuit of happiness, but at what cost?

Chris McCandless’s family never got to meet Alex, so when they both died, it was really only Chris who died to them — a son. To the people who met him during his adventure only knew him as Alex — a stranger. Everyone would like to think that Chris McCandless died happily because he got what he went out for, full independence and a chance to be Alex. Chris McCandless probably died regretting not bringing more supplies or just realizing it was better living with a little help than being completely independent.

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