Into The Wild - Tayla Bogle          

Into The Wild Essay

Tayla Bogle
World lit 4

As we grow up we dream to be things and to be able to do things in our lives. Most of the dreams we have for ourselves are unreachable, crazy ideas that we make up in our heads hoping- but knowing it wont happen- for it to come true. Although it took him a while to set out on his crazy adventure he dreamed of, Chris McCandless is one of the very few people in the world to actually follow their dreams. He didn't understand and had a hard time accepting many of society's ways. It was this wonderful thing about Christopher McCandless and his downfall because he believed that it's wrong to get too comfortable in life, and to take the easy path. He felt like everyone wasn’t fully living their lives. To him, life is full of adventure and if you aren’t doing that you’re simply wasting it. Everyone can take something from that, and it's just, get outside your comfort zone. Everyone wants to stay with what they know and what's comfortable to them because thats what they grew up with/familiar with. He believed you grow and have the best adventures and learn the most if you just step outside that comfort zone. Because he did, to many people, McCandless seems psychotic.

Reading this story I ask myself can I live the crazy life of Chris McCandless, rather known as Alex Supertramp? Imagine giving up everything. Your family, friends, money, and all of your possessions except maybe your car and some food. Could you do it? I know that I wouldn’t be able to, but that is exactly what Chris McCandless did. As his story unfolds in these pages, its obvious that he lacked the right supplies and the proper mindset/ well thought out plan when he set off to undertake this feral way of living. He abandoned most of the things he owned and invented a new life for himself. Relating to what Gene Rosellini said about his own experience, McCandless realistically experienced the physical, mental and emotional reality of living alone in the wild. Of course it’s risky to hitchhike; of course there’s uncertainty in having no cash; of course it’s jeopardous to walk into the wilderness in the middle of winter with little experience and no map – but this is the point. It’s about facing the seeming absurdities and contradictions in life head-on and doing something about it, even if it means death. Many times I didn’t agree with Chris’s choices. I believe he purposely put himself in life threatening situations, for example refusing to not wear extra clothes, packing enough food, and having the correct hunting gear, so that he felt like he was living the true “wild” life.

In the first few chapters that I read, I really questioned the relationship and the lack of communication he had with his parents. After they received his grades in the mail they heard nothing from their son. Why weren’t there phone calls or letters written to each other? This made me upset. Although your son is old and off living on his own, that isn't an excuse to not call or write to check up on him or see if he’s okay. It seemed like they didn't care about his whereabouts or even cared to know if he was alive. Whatever happened to them really had a big impact on their relationship, and by reading the essay his sister wrote I finally understood why he acted this way. Not only did they not have a stable home -not stable as in being violent- Chris witnessed the sneakiness of his father having children with mom and (at that moment) his wife. He witnessed love not really being love and lies being told. To me, that is why I feel that Chris had a hard time committing to one place to live or even committing his love, trust, and hear to people. I believe that 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.

There is a large debate of whether he was stupid, mentally ill, or suicidal. I do not think he was any of those things. If he was, I do not think he would have lasted as long as he did. He was an intelligent man who disagreed with society. He left to make peace with himself and the way things were, and he was ready to reenter when he died. Although I disagree with his treatment of his family and his other methods, I have to admire what he did. It is something I could never do and for that, he deserves respect. He deserves respect not only as Chris McCandless but also as what many people knew him as and who he really was, Alex.


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