Into The Wild - Olesya Nedorezova        

Into The Wild Essay

Olesya Nedorezova
Chris McCandless essay
Who is Chris McCandless?

Chris McCandless had many different opinions about them, but all of them branch off of one of two main conclusions about him. John Krakaur puts it the best in his book about Chris McCandless Into the Wild; “Some readers admired the boy immensely for his courage and noble I deals; others fulminated that he was a reckless idiot, a wacko, a narcissist who perished out of arrogance and stupidity- and was undeserving of the considerable media attention he received.” I believe that Chris McCandless did have some noble ideals but he wasn’t noble “hero” trying to prove the whole world wrong; and although he did make some simple mistakes that cost him his life, he was not a naïve dreamer who doesn’t know the first thing about living in the wild. I believe that he was misunderstood in his purpose for going out there in the first place.

Chris McCandless did not go into that Alaska bush to prove anything to anyone. He simply went out there to satisfy his thirst for adventure and to live by his own “moral code” which consisted of his beliefs about life. In the letter he writes to Ron Franz he states this. “The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” Of course one must give him credit for being courageous, because going into an unfamiliar territory knowing that it might end up fatal, does take some guts. But as far as his “noble ideals” go, the only seemingly “noble ideal” he had was the one which he got from Leo Tolstoy about denying one’s self and the riches and greed that the human flesh so desperately desires. This seems pretty noble, and it is, but along with that he had other ideas. Such as not relying on anyone but yourself, a belief that he got from Ralph Waldo Emerson and his essay “Self-reliance”. McCandless might have taken Emerson’s idea a little too literally, which in the end resulted to his demise. He may have had noble ideals but that did not make him a hero.

Chis McCandless may have been many things, but one thing he was not, was naïve. It’s not like this would have been the first time he would be out in the wild all by himself. He had done it before. He was out there in the gulf of California for almost six months with is only source of being one pound bag of rice and whatever else he could catch while fishing. He had a ton of experience with this. He had a survival guide that he followed to the very last point. And he knew exactly what he was doing when went out into that bush. He knew that he could potentially die out there. He even wrote about it a letter he wrote to his friend Wayne Westerburg. The cause of his death was a series of honest mistakes which in the end proved to be fatal. He also wasn’t an idiot. He was in fact very intelligent. He finished high-school on a very good note, and went on to college and was an excellent student there too. He read many books and had many of his own ideas and discoveries about life and happiness. But of course that kind of knowledge did not save him in the end.

Many people have these opinions because they jump to conclusions about him. They did not take into account his entire life and only looked at the outcome of his actions. If you really study his life you can see why he did what he did. So in conclusion Chris McCandless was not a noble hero or a naïve idiot, he just a regular fellow who just followed his dreams.

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