Into The Wild - Skye Capales          

Into The Wild Essay

Chris McCandless:

Life is a highway filled with different exits that lead to a road up ahead, it is continuous and everlasting. Leading to other roads and highways up ahead. Life with one road is no life at all. Chris McCandless gives meaning to those words I have just said. He came into this world as Christopher J. McCandless but came out of this world as Alex Supertramp. He strived for his dreams, his beliefs and for his own independence. From reading his story you can see that he was his own person and believed he can achieve whatever he wanted as long as he set his heart to it.

Chris McCandless was not your ordinary everyday man, he was way out of the ordinary. He didn’t really follow society and it’s rules. He was always an independent person, who relied on himself at most times. Like when he was being asked if he had a hunting license he responded saying “Hell no…how I feel myself is none of the government’s business. Fuck their stupid rules” (Krakauer 6). He pursued everything that came his way head on without the help from his parents. I think he wanted to alienate himself and become his own person without relying on his parents. He wanted to experience his own freedom. His parents always held high expectations for him and expected him to go to college and then make career in his life. I wouldn’t be able to understand Chris’ family since my mother always thought that I should make my own decisions in life instead of having people make decisions for me. Chris always “demanded much of himself – more, in the end, than he could deliver” (Krakauer 184). In the essay written by Rebecca she states “Through Chris’ idealism, independence, and true self-reliance, he was able to create a new life for himself. That life was filled with meaning, purpose, and, “the raw throb of existence” (Krakauer 22). That life meant more to Chris than anything or anyone ever could.” He was self reliant person who always drove himself to extreme measures.

However Chris was also a man who understood that life shouldn’t be wasted. You can never understand life as it is. Life should never be wasted. We all have those dreams, desires, wants, needs and all that other stuff to keep us ticking through the day. What gets me up every morning to do the things that I have to do is so that I can accomplish my dreams in later in life just like McCandless. No matter how short or long your life might have been, as long as you accomplished your dreams you have lived a long life. Chris accomplished what he had to do and even though he was criticized for what he did, he still at least accomplished his dreams. Many don’t achieve dreams and sometimes go jealous like one university professor said “ I’m sure there are plenty of other Alaskans who had a lot in common when they first got here too, including many of his critics. Which is maybe why they’re so hard on him. Maybe McCandless reminds them a little too much of their former selves.” (Krakauer, 186). But unlike them McCandless just got up and did it. He didn’t do what most people would do if they wanted to do the same thing Chris did. In the letter he sent to Ron, he gave him an important piece of advice he told him “ Don’t hesitate or allow yourself to make excuses. Just get out and do it…” (Krakauer, 58). But today too many people are scared to do the things that Chris did. I have to agree with Jessica when she states that “people today are petrified of everything that surrounds them, as well as the thoughts that veer us away from society’s standards. We as people are told what is good for us, what is bad for us, what smart decisions are, what awful decisions are, and what we should do with our lives.” Society frightens us about how things should be. Society tells us what is good, bad, and what a true career is. If we don’t follow these steps than we are nothing. Life as we know it sets us on a single path so that we can go to school, go to college, and then manage our own careers and lives. Chris wanted to separate from that life like others want to as well.

We need to grasp life as we see fit. We might not grasp life like Chris did but we could all find our own ways to grasp life as we see fit. We might not follow in Chris’ footsteps but as long as we try to seek life and adventure instead of giving up. Then we have lived a full and happy life. Like David Korn says “We ignore Chris’ faults and hypocrisies, just as Chris ignored the faults and hypocrisies of London and Tolstoy and the other figures who inspired him. Instead, our understanding of the story centers around the things it stirs within each of us, the ways in which we need to be inspired: grasping life, embracing our spirit of adventure, freedom, living in the most full, deep way we are humanely capable of—the things which we consider McCandless to embody.” Forget Chris’ mistakes for a moment and you will see that he was a man that did all the things he dreamed of. At least he did it while other people haven’t accomplished even half of that.

Chris McCandless is an inspiration to all. He did what others weren’t able to do. He followed his dreams, deterred from society, and became independent. I see this man as someone I can look up to. He followed his dreams and did what he had to do. He didn’t let society’s expectations get in his way. No, he went farther and reached his destination. Even though he died in the end he still made it. He gave faith to others in this world and to pursue their own dreams. After all isn’t that life.


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