Into The Wild - Simone          

Into The Wild Essay

Into The Wild Themes

Identity: Into The Wild is all about identity. One of the mains reasons that Chris leaves his family in Washington for Alaska is because he feels the need to find out who he is. Chris has recently found out that he and his sister are “bastard children” as their parents were not married when they were born. He also finds out that his father had another child with his ex-wife after he himself was born. This, along, with the fact that his parent’s marriage has always been a cold and abusive one, drives Chris over the edge. Not only have his parents been deceiving him for years, but now as his sister Carine tells us, Chris’s “entire childhood felt like fiction.”
Chris had always loved reading. It was likely from the genres and authors that he read (Tolstoy, Thoreau etc.) that he was influenced by them. This led to his decision that the best thing to do after making such a discovery, was to go on a journey by himself and philosophise about life. He felt that there was truth out in the wild that there wasn’t in his life at home.
Carine McCandless said that Chris was not out in the wild to find himself, instead saying. “Chris knew exactly who he was. He was searching for a place in this world that he fit into, where he could be true to himself.”
This is also true. However, Chris did discover things about himself that he didn’t realise before he set out. Most importantly, his breakthrough realisation: “Happiness only real when shared.” This is a far cry from him telling his elderly friend, Ron, just a few months earlier ‘You’re wrong if you think that the joy of life comes principally from the joy of human relationships.” Even if ‘finding himself’ wasn’t what Chris had set out to do, he certainly learnt things that changed the way he saw things.
When Christopher leaves home, he wants to leave who he is and start over with a clean slate. He is so determined to do this properly that he donates his savings to charity, abandons his car and even changes his name, calling himself Alexander Supertramp. He carries this name around with him for about two years, but in the few days just before his death, he begins to call himself Christopher McCandless once more, as if he has finally accepted who he is. This idea of “calling each thing by it’s proper name” ironically could have saved him if he had only practised this properly in regards to the poisonous plant he ate which, he calls by the name of a similar, (but unlike what he actually ate), edible plant.
He leaves behind a college education, a wealthy family and a promising future for a life much simpler, as he says just “big mountains, rivers, sky, game.” Chris despises materialism, as demonstrated by his ungrateful and hostile reaction to his parents’ buying him a new car, despite him being happy with the one he already has. When he is in Alaska, Chris is pleased to be living a life that is very different from what he is used to, surviving on just the bare necessities. It is incredibly refreshing for him to be this barest form of himself without all the trimmings, to not care about money, possessions or keeping up with the Joneses, but to simply live in tune with nature, just as God intended humans to live. Despite this, he does plan to leave Alaska eventually and return to society, he just feels the need to be “there, in that moment, in that special place and time” first.
In conclusion, Chris, like a lot of young people, is finding out who he is and testing himself, although he takes it further than most.

Regards,
Simone


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