Into the Wild by John Krakauer is a real stunning story of Christopher McCandless, a young men who after graduating the university went to live in the wilderness. He gave his $24,000 savings to charity, abandoned his car, burned the rest of his cash and hitchhiked to Alaska. Four months later, he died of starvation, aged 24. Chis achieved his desire to escape the artificial consumer society and experience the wildlife with no boundaries. In his diary, he wrote “I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God bless you all!”
Wilderness is very important to Chis. He sees it as a place where he can live by his own rules, absolutely free, this is a place without the evils of the modern world. McCandless’s aim is to find the ultimate freedom from other people’s standards and authority above him. He desires to live alone, in a world where the only rules to follow are the nature laws. As this level of freedom requires a complete isolation, Christopher has to go into the wild alone. However, the reality of living in the wilderness is not so romantic as he supposes. Chris spends so much time and effort to find some food to keep him alive. His letters, diary and notes found disclosed his desperate efforts to survive.
The temptation of danger and risky activities is central to the book. The author doesn’t believe that this allure is important to everyone, but it is significant to a young person like Chris, the one who is passionate, ambitious, and not pleased with the problems of the modern world. This some kind of inner demon is driving Christopher during his adventures. He wants to experience all hazardous and unpredictable situations to challenge himself. Chris is also driven by the danger inherent in the inability to forgive. A boy is a very sympathetic person who can’t ignore the fact that so many people around him are starving. He thinks that it’s his responsibility to help them. However, his inability to forgive his parents’ mistakes is the main contradiction between his passionate nature and sometimes cold-blooded behavior.
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One of the main Chris’s qualities is the adherence to principles. He thinks that his parents are too materialistic and believes that giving all his savings to charity is the only right decision to make. This devotion to principle is admirable, though, Chis often puts his principles above people. As a result, he hurts people without even intending to do it. For instance, in college Christopher decides that he has a moral problem with presents as he cannot give or accept them. This may be caused by his intimacy problems; as he doesn’t let people approach too close, he cannot put them over his principles.
Christopher’s dream to live in the wilderness of Alaska came true. He made a derelict bus his home and from there he hunted animals and went to collect food. Unfortunately, the wildlife is serious and threatening and it is impossible to survive without being prepared. Cris had no compass, gear, phone, maps, instead, he brought a lot of books with him. Without food and water, he felt that he was weakening and losing weight very fast, that his end was near. Shorty after, he died. Three weeks later, his body was found by a group of hunters. They would have saved his life, had been Christoper still alive.
Into the Wild is a very passionate and interesting book. The 2007 adaptation of the book directed by Sean Penn attracted more attention to the John Krakauer’s work. The film was true to the original story and even involved Christopher’s family and the author himself. The movie, as well as the book, received plenty of positive reviews, which cemented the unique story of Christopher McCandless into American history.