When it comes to the plot of a story, it seems that someone “taking a journey”, would be a pretty dull choice. It isn’t until you look deeper into the actual meaning of the word that you really begin to understand how truly profound it can be. The word journey can be put into such simple terms as a “passage or progress from one stage to another”, but it so much more than that. Whether physical or metaphorical, it can be anything from a simple event to a life-changing experience. It can describe a trip you took one summer, or your entire life; the possibilities are endless.
It is obvious from the beginning of the story that Chris McCandless (Into the Wild) does not fit into society. From the way he speaks, to the way he acts, to the way he thinks; he is an outsider and he knows it. Chris believed in a very minimalist approach to life, and he thought that people had too much “stuff”. He believed that it was consuming their lives so much, that they were unable to see the beauty around them. This strong animosity towards modern society is mainly what prompted him to leave.
In most cases, when people speak of “life-changing events”, it usually comes with bad tidings. In this case, the event was Chris’s experience on the road; from the people he meets, to the trouble he gets in. This type of adventure was very beneficial to Chris, as it allowed him to be out on his own, with nobody telling him where to go or what to do, things he could not accomplish in our society.
Chris’ journey was both physical and metaphorical. It was physical in the aspect of his hitchhiking and roaming and metaphysical in the aspect of the pain and anger that he was running away from. The trouble with his family is only hinted at in the beginning, and isn’t really addressed until about halfway through the book. It seems as if his angry obsession with his parents is what really gets him. He hates them not only for their lies (about his secret half-brother), but also for their fascination for material things, which he thinks is completely unnecessary.
Through his travels, Chris is able to escape his problems, which allowed him to clear his mind, and process things. Towards the end of the story, it is noted that Chris is beginning to under stand the importance of family and togetherness. Unfortunately, this discovery is met with the end of his journey; namely, his death.
Arnold’s journey has some very similar characteristics to Chris’, although it is a little less physical, and mostly metaphorical. When we first meet Arnold (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian), he is living on the Spokane Indian Reservation, going to the local high school, and...