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Escaping From Civilization Commentary On "Into The Wild" By Jon Krakauer

899 words - 4 pages

After learning of Chris McCandless's experience in Alaska, many dismissed his odyssey as the "same story: idealistic, energetic young guys who overestimated themselves, underestimated the country, and ended up in trouble" (71). To them, "McCandless was hardly unique" (71). Clearly conveyed in Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, he was a stubborn rebellious individual who did not like being too close to people, and influenced by writers' such as Jack London's works on nature, decided to embark on the journey to Alaska.An individual brimming with raw talent, McCandless is "supremely overconfident" (118), arrogant, stubborn and impatient. He refuses to slow down for anything or anyone, and disregards significant details, nodding politely when being persuaded or urged, only to "do exactly what he wanted" (119) afterwards. This is why he entered Alaska without fully considering his family, friends and all the risks. He took it as a challenge and faced it head-on. It is also because he is so smart and talented that he had such high expectations for himself, and plenty of pride. This is shown when he started running. Everytime "he did worse than he expected" (112), he was really hard on himself. He would "internalize the disappointment" (112) and "go off alone somewhere and beat himself up" (112). He expects too much of himself, biting off more than he can chew, only to disappoint himself later on. He is very independent and despises authority of any kind, including his parents. Therefore he never shares anything with his parents, bottling everything up, which does not solve his problems as the root of them is his father's affair with his ex-wife. An example is when he gets an F in high school physics because he did not write his lab reports in the format his teacher asked him to. He "thought it was a stupid rule and decided to ignore it" (109). He is too arrogant and rebellious for his own good, leading to his own downfall.McCandless did not enjoy close relationships, and refused to open up to most people. He was "intensely private but could be convivial and gregarious in the extreme" (115). He seemed extremely friendly and easy to get close to. He would allow people around him to open up to him and expose themselves completely, but he kept an unnoticeable barrier between them, keeping his business to himself. For example, he meets an old man named Ronald Franz who had lost his wife and only son in an automobile accident. Franz was extremely attached to him, and thought of him as his own son. Franz was not a particularly passionate man, but "when McCandless came into his world [...] the boy undermined the old man's...

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