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Chris Mc Candless: A True Hero Essay

1070 words - 5 pages

It’s unlikely that one has a neutral opinion about a young man who travels into the wild for 100 days with no money, next to no food or supplies, and no clothes besides the ones on his back. Chris McCandless was a kindred spirit whose legacy invoked intense emotional reactions from many different people. While McCandless strongly supported living a simple life and meant no harm to himself or others, he was significantly undersupplied for the adventure he planned to go on which led to his demise resulting in a traumatized family as well as a ripple effect in the media and literary world. Many people who learn about McCandless develop a negative bias towards him and wonder “who in their right mind would willingly try to survive in the wilderness without even having a map of the area?”. If you have ever wanted to completely escape from the ties and trials of everyday life, you understand exactly why Chris decided to go abroad and live off the land. Despite opinions that ridicule his urges to live in utter simplicity, many people who have learned about Chris’s story including the people who were a part of McCandless’s adventure into the wild agree with my opinion in seeing him as the true hero that he is.

Chris McCandless was not a selfish idiot, in fact he was thoughtful and an intelligent human being. As explained in Into The Wild, “He’d grown up, i learned, in an affluent suburb of Washington, D.C., where he’d excelled academically and had been an elite athlete”(Authors note, Krakauer). Krakauer continues to explain that immediately after graduating, with honors, from Emory University in the summer of 1990, that McCandless had dropped out of sight. The first person we learn of that Chris met on his journey to Alaska, Gallien, who gave him a ride, can vouch that Chris was no ordinary lunatic. “The more they talked, the less Alex struck Gallien as a nutcase. He was congenial and seemed well educated. He peppered Gallien with thoughtful questions about the kind of small game that live in the country”(Pg. 5 Krakauer). Although what Chris did may seem irrational and even plain stupid to some people, he knew what he was getting into and had the common sense and logic to survive as long as he did. Chris learned about the edible potato plants in the Alaskan area and ate them for an extended period of time while they were in season. Along with being educated about plants he could safely eat, he managed to hunt and kill a moose which provided him with meat until the carcass went bad. Surely an idiot would not have lasted a fraction of the 100+ days McCandless managed to survive in the Alaskan bush. Somebody who had no idea what they were doing would give up or perish from dehydration within the first few weeks. McCandless death was not due to idiocy but to chance.“For most of the 16 week ordeal, nethertheless, McCandless more than held his own. Indeed, were it not for one or two seemingly insignificant blunders, he would have walked out of the woods in...

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