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Into The Wild: Henry David Thoreau And Chris Mc Candless

776 words - 4 pages

Jake Gordon

Transcendentalism was an American philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century. It revolved around
the idea that the unthinking conformity of the surrounding society was not sufficient enough in life. Henry David
Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson were notable figures in this movement. Emerson once urged his followers to search
for “an original relation to the universe”. It is evident that the best way to become a transcendentalist is to sacrifice your
life at hand and form a strong bond with the nature around you. Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer showcased Christopher
McCandless, a man who was inspired by these early transcendentalist figures, and by the end of his ...view middle of the document...

McCandless found truth in transcendentalism. A transcendentalist has strong beliefs in avoiding human
relationships, materialism, and embracing spiritualism. The first thing Chris did was abandon his family, the people who
he was closest to. This was the first step in becoming a transcendentalist because they believed that human relationships
interfered with the ability to truly connect with nature. He also became very moody and vague with the people he came
across as he hitchhiked, making sure to avoid human relationships. Chris once said, “You are wrong if you think Joy
emanates only...from human relationships. God has placed it all around us...and all you have to do is reach for it.” (79).
Chris had an attitude that made it seem as if it was obvious that nature is the derivative of his joy. He did not have time
for human relationships and he knew they would interfere with his journey. Complete solitude was the most optimal
path when achieving transcendentalism. Abandoning the majority of his material possessions such as his car and money
leads for more opportunities to depend on his surroundings, just as Thoreau did. When the flash flood claimed his car,
he was somewhat excited that he could shed some baggage on this journey. At one point a good friend of Chris ...

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