Into the wild Book Report

This essay has a total of 1037 words and 4 pages.

into the wild

In Jon Krakuer's novel Into the Wild, the main character, Chris McCandless, seeks nature
so that he can find a sense of belonging and the true meaning of who he is. However, it is
the essence of nature that eventually takes his life away from him. At the end of his
life, he is discovers his purpose and need of other people. After Chris McCandless death
in Alaska, Krakuer wrote Into the Wild to reflect on the journey that McCandless makes.
Krakuer protrays McCandless as a young man who is reckless, selfish, and arrogant, but at
the same time, intelligent, determined, independent, and charismatic. Along with the irony
that occurs in nature, these characteristics are the several factors that contribute to
McCandless death.

Chris McCandless is a young man who chooses to alienate himself from society. After
graduating college, Chris embarks on several journeys in the outdoors. Chris buys a car
and departs to the West, eventually hoping to make a trip to Alaska. Modeling himself
after Tolstoy ( a transcendentalist writer), Chris looks to be one with nature, yet
neglects to see its danger. Naively, Chris seeks nature as a place of belonging and a site
of adventure. Just as Chris is trying to overcome the dangers of nature, he is overcoming
the doubts that he has within himself, which include his fears of developing close and
personal relationships and his fear of being judged. The trip to Alaska pushes Chris to
his limits and in the end he finally comes to identify with himself, comes to grips with
his personality, and be driven all by himself, rather than by the needs or
responsibilities of society or others. In addition to using nature as a way to find
himself, Chris also uses nature as a method of avoiding his own realities, such as his
relationship troubles with his parents. Chris refuses to confront his parents with the
troubles of their relationship. In a letter to his sister Carine, Chris states:

"Since they won't ever take me seriously, for a few months after graduation I'm going to
let them think they are right, I'm going to let them think I'm coming around to see their
side of things and that our relationship is stabilizing. And then once the time is right,
with one abrupt, swift action I'm going to divorce them as my parents once and for all and
never speak to either of those idiots again as long as I live. I'll be through with them
once and for all, forever" (Krakuer 64).


The long journeys were needed means of escape of these troubles. In nature, Chris focused
only on himself and survival, rather than his troubles at home, the needs of others, or
the standards of society. In a way, he was forced to go into the outdoors because of these
poor relationships and inner conflicts within himself. Although Chris sought nature to
help him, it destroyed him. He never returned from Alaska to put into practice what he had
finally learned about himself and his need for others. Nature and his plan had worked
against him, since, he eventually died of starvation.

One of the chief reasons why Chris McCandles had died of starvation in Alaska was because
he was reckless. He was reckless because he was so ill prepared for his journey, and
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