Wild Essay

1204 words - 5 pages

The film that I chose to analyze was "Into the wild". This movie, in short is about a young man that upon graduating from college sees himself following in the footsteps of his parents. Not wanting to become like them he leaves his life behind without telling anyone. He embarks on a journey with the end plan being to live off the land in Alaska. During his journey he meets many people and faces many difficult decisions. He exhibited many different ideas based in sociology, including
functionalism, identity, and post modernism to name a few.

In my own opinion one of the main sociological themes of this young man, Chris', journey is the theoretical perspective of functionalism. Functionalism by definition is a theoretical perspective based on the notion that social events can be explained in terms of functions they perform, the contributions they make to the continuity of a society (19). His contributions to society included the people that he encountered on his journey, and how their lives were changed by his whimsical view of life. He had money and decided to donate it to charity and live day to day with only a few dollars. He said that these days were the most exciting. This being said, he alters the lives of the people that he encounters over the course of his journey, by introducing them to his way of life. He wants to create a new life course and escape clock time. He is trying to escape social norms and vanish to Alaska. This is an example of anomie, the social norms of finding a job, continuing his college education, or finding a career are too much for Chris. He loses his grasp on what is expected of him and decides to leave his life, home, and family behind as his begins his travels. Most normal people would have been happy to continue on and be proud of their recent acheivements, but not Chris. He rebels against social constraints and chooses not to tell his family of his plans, knowing that they would neither understand nor support his choice.

Despite his many attempts to be alone and experience nature as a means of substitution for people, he finds himself constantly returning to society. He does this in different forms. He meets a couple and fits in with them as a friend and a substitute for a son. He helps them to work through their problems while he stays with them waiting for the spring time for his trip. Another major theme of this man's story is identity, He is constantly working to define himself in a way that is not associated with his parents. It is very interesting to see his self-image and his unique perspective on the world. He thinks that the best way to avoid being like his parents is to be alone. The irony in this is that while he thinks being alone is best, loneliness is the thing that brings him back to society over and over. He seeks out relationships with sorrogate parents, a bit of love, and a man much like himself that is living alone, also seeking companionship. He works...

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