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The Unavoidable American Dream Essay

1342 words - 6 pages

Everyone dreams of reaching their maximum potential and along the way finding themselves as well. Everyone wants to go after the things in life that make them happy. This is known as the American dream; Striving for huge goals in your life and never giving up on what you believe. This is exactly what Christopher McCandless was trying to accomplish in the novel, Into the Wild. Even though Chris’s American dream wasn’t even closely related to the average American dream (attending college, getting a good job, buying a nice house and car), he still made time for his own dreams. Chris had been dreaming of his Alaskan Odyssey long before leaving his home behind. Along his journey Chris manages to ...view middle of the document...

Because of this, after college Chris donated over 24,000 dollars to a charity, OXFAM America, to help fight hunger (20). He even goes as far as burning all of the cash that he has in his wallet. Here, Chris is rejecting the social values of property and wealth. One time, when Franz tried confronting Chris about his lifestyle, Chris replys, "I have a college education. I’m not destitute. I’m living like this by choice” (51). This shows that Chris believed in what he was doing, and didn’t care what anyone else thought of him. Another example of a way that Chris rejected society was when he declined a brand new car from his parents. Christopher also objected to authority, and couldn’t stand being told what to do. If his parents, teachers, or anyone else in his life told him to do something, most of the time he would do the opposite (111). To show everyone that he rejected authority, after leaving for Alaska, Chris changes his name to Alex Supertramp. Chris not only left his home to get away from society, but he also left to find himself and to live his own American dream.
Not only are all of those examples rejecting society, but they are also rejecting the American dream as well. Relating to opposing the American dream, Chris hated the idea of careers. Chris thought of careers as life sucking tasks that were a huge waste of time. The reason for him thinking this way probably went back to his child life. As a youngster, Chris and his sister Carine had to basically take care of each other. This was because his parents were constantly working in their home business, and rarely had time for their kids (107). Because of this, instead of following the American dream of having a good job, Chris found it necessary to only work when he desperately needed the money. Money in which would only take him further on his journey to find himself. Chris spent his whole life, especially towards the end of his life, trying to live differently than the majority of how everyone else does.
One aspect of the American dream that Chris found important was the need for freedom. Chris shared this feeling with the majority of Americans including early American explorers, pioneers moving west, etc. To understand why Chris would give up his whole life to travel west and seek the truth, one must look deep into American history. Todays America is one of the richest nations on earth, with it’s culture based on materialism and individualism. This encourages all of Americans to be the best they can be, but sort of shadows the existence of the solo American dream; which was to be free, independent, and living ones own dreams. Christopher, instead of conforming to society, chose to take matters into his own hands and left for Alaska to find freedom. Inside the bus, in which Chris’s body was found, this note was...

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