Into The Wild - Ryan Ferace        

Into The Wild Essay

We have all had that thought. A thought… an almost calling, to understand what we are truly supposed to do with this life bestowed to us, and to experience what true living is, when you only purpose in life is to survive, and the stress of our bourgeois society is lifted. An experience like this would change a person’s perspective on life and the universe forever, and this is exactly what Chris “Alex” McCandless sought out to find. He was looking for a new understanding, a new perspective on life, and to gain a proper and meaningful living experience. The story of Chris McCandless is one of courage, joy, and insight, into how adventure can be your purpose.
When Chris McCandless left for his long journey to Alaska his goal wasn’t to gain fame from his travels, but to expand his knowledge and purpose. He had a lot going for him, he had a good savings, had just graduated college and could have possibly gone to Harvard for his masters, but, he had seen how this way of living had made people. His parents, as he described, where everything Chris disliked about modern society: Greedy, materialistic, and judgmental. Although he loved them, McCandless was looking for something more... and I believed he achieved that goal, to experience the world around him.
Now, some may argue that Chris was naïve, crazy, or just stupid, but I believe that is false. “Alex” was perfectly aware of the dangers and challenges he would face on his adventure, and knew that there was a chance he could die on his quest for purpose. With regards to his sanity, given the fact he had gone through over 24 years of his life without any symptoms or signs of a mental illness, I think that fact is ruled out. He was clearly an educated man, and had prepared himself for almost all aspects of his journey.
McCandless was a courageous young man, wishing to achieve a similar goal as Henry David Thoreau did in his book Walden, which recorded Thoreau’s distaste with society and a search for life by living off the land in isolation. Through this he learned about himself and the meaning of his life. Chris wanted that, to live a life worth living and to experience adventure. He in no way was a narcissist’, since his goal was to have an experience for himself, not for it to be shared with others. He did not want fame and glory, but happiness.
Chris McCandless story is not one of a naïve narcissist looking for fame in a glorious adventure, but the manifest of all young Americans dreams of truly living a life worth living. Although it might have ended in a tragic loss of life, I believe Chris would not have wanted it to be a tragedy, but an end of a story of a man following the American dream and pursuing happiness.

All in all, Chris McCandless is someone who people should look up to. He did things not many people can say they did, or had the guts to do. Chris was a very intelligent man, who excelled in school and knew the risks that were at hand in Alaska. He took his chances anyway because he wanted to get away from the materialistic America and follow his own journey. His courage is very admirable.


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