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Chris Mc Candless: A Contradictory Idealist Essay

1448 words - 6 pages

The book, Into the wild, takes us into a rough and ideal world of a young man named Christopher Johnson McCandless. He travelled across the western United States from 1990 to 1992, and on April 28, 1992, he started his last adventure and walked into the wilds of Alaska. About 112 days later, he died of starvation. Unsurprisingly, public opinion polarized on his behavior. Some may admire his courage and noble ideals, though some regard him as an idiotic and arrogant narcissist. Although he died on his way to find the truth and back to nature, I believe that Chris McCandless should be considered as a hero, but I cannot completely approve of all his behaviors.
Into the wild is a ...view middle of the document...

The last part is the story were memories of the parents, sister and friends of Chris, also including their psychological process in accepting Chris’s disappearance and final death. Apparently the first part is the most wonderful one, and this text lays emphasis on this part.
People opposing McCandless mainly have two concerns, McCandless’ ignorance of nature and stupid narcissism. They say, “His ignorance, which could have been cured by a USGS quadrant and a Boy Scout manual, is what killed him.” (51; chap.8) However, what I have to highlight is that he had prepared for the journey for a while, and he desperately wanted be alive to enjoy the life. He took enough tools with him just because there were some blind alleys in his ability. Similarly, Chris is not that stubborn. When he ran into Wayne and Jan, he has an open mind on their shared story and sincere advice. Although, maybe “McCandless was simply one more dreamy half-cocked greenhorn who went into the country expecting to find answers to all his problems and instead found only mosquitoes and a lonely death” (51; chap.8), he is absolutely still a hero to some extent. (rethink this sentence, your quote and last statement do not match)
There are some reasons why I regard Chris McCandless as a hero in a sense. To begin with, he is brave enough to put the idea into practice and dare to challenge the principles, but he has his own basic standards for himself which were pretty high. His teacher said that, “Chris marches to a different drummer,” which means that Chris has his own idea even he was just little. Sometimes we are fettered by some unreasonable and inflexible rules and cannot break new paths.(this sentence doesn’t match with what you said before and after) In addition to this, Chris is a typical case that questions the illusion of modernization and destruction of industrial civilization. Undeniably, industrialization and modernization occupy an important place in the process of human civilization: it maximizes production at lowest cost, and brings great facility to people’s life. However, Monstrous skyscraper, narrow streets, toxic gases, harsh noise and great crowds, all of this form the modernization. While civilized men enjoy the great triumph of industrialization and luxury of life, they do not realize what they have already been deprived of. Obviously, Chris realized this problem, no matter what lead him to this, Leo Tolstoy, Thoreau or Jack London(who are these characters?). Chris believed in that life is not just simply following shortcut. He started his journey to find the truth of life as soon as he was aware of the irrationality and unfairness in life. It reads in his notes that, “Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom.” (112; chap.17) He got rid of everything from the urban city to pursue real happiness and freedom. It is a deep challenge compared to the so-called modern life, and redefined the real meaning of life. Actually...

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