Analysis "Into The Wild" by Jon Krakauer

Throughout the novel, Chris McCandless goes on a journey on his own to go into the wild and attempts to achieve his goal. Chris had little resources to start off and relied on himself to make it to Alaska. Chris encounters many people offer him support but instead survives on what he obtains and not what is offered to him. Throughout his journey he only cared for himself, and those who he talked to.

As he made it to Alaska on the stampede trial, he was starving for food.

All he had was potato seed that he purchased from South Dakota before heading north. He did not plant the seed to grow potatoes because his hunger got the best of him and started to eat the seeds which are toxic. After his death four months after April 1992 a party of moose hunters found his decomposed body in an abandoned bus. Before this, Chris covers up his identity and names himself Alex Supertramp for the fact nobody could keep track of him.

Chris McCandless is truly compassionate on what he does and relies on himself to travel on his own without the help from others he met.

In the novel Into the Wild, Chris is very confident and self-reliant, and nothing will stand in his way he will do his best to do anything to the best of his ability. His father says, “Chris was good at almost everything he ever tried,’ Walt reflects, ‘which made him supremely over overconfident.

If you attempted to talk him out of something, he wouldn’t argue.

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He’d just nod politely and then do exactly what he wanted.” (Krakauer 119) His father Walt McCandless is concerned about him and his whereabouts. No matter what you say to Chris you will give him more confidence on what you don’t want him to do. Chris McCandless is too focused on nature instead of his necessities.

One of Chris’s, friend Wayne Westerberg met Chris hitchhiking and offered him a ride. Chris stayed with Westerberg for three days and at the end of Chris staying with Westerberg offered him a job, “Westerberg told the young man to look him up in Carthage if he ever needed a job” (Krakauer 17). Later Chris came back in town to take the job. Over the years Westerberg offered jobs to a lot of hitchhikers. This shows, Chris needs money to buy his needs and was hard worker. He had high standards for himself.

Later, When Franz met Chris McCandless, Chris had told Franz his name was Alex and declined to give him a last name. Franz complements Chris for his friendliness and his intelligence. Franz had a talk with Chris about him getting a job and his living condition “I thought he was too nice of a kid to be living by that hot springs with those nudist and drunks and dope smokers. Look Mr. Franz’ he declared, ‘you don’t need to worry about me. I have a college education. I’m not destitute. I’m living this life by choice” (Krakauer 51). Ronald Franz even cared for Chris and even told him he should know his living conditions are and get some shelter. But Chris told Franz he should not be worried about him and that Chris is living like how his living by choice. After the fact, Franz took him out to eat and have a nice dinner.

While regarding photographs of Christopher McCandless’s childhood, Billie McCandless shows sorrow at her son’s death. “As she studies the pictures, she breaks down from time to time, weeping as only a mother who has outlived a child can weep, betraying a sense of loss so huge and irreparable that the mind balks at taking its measure. Such bereavement, witnessed at close range, makes even the most eloquent apologia for high-risk activities ring fatuous and hollow” (Krakauer 132). Billie McCandless’s pictures affect her because they enforce her sense that his primary role in life related to their family and to his childhood. Her life and Christopher’s life are mainly defined by their family roles. Both Chris and Billie McCandless were passionate on whatever they were doing. As the chapter ends, his mother Billie questions “I don’t understand why he had to take those chances, I just don’t understand at all.” (Krakauer 132). Beyond their mental usefulness to her, the pictures she has arranged presents Chris and she to make sense of his life and his disappearance.

Chris recognized that the only way for him to find himself would be to be self-centered and focus on his own being first, without others clouding his sense of being. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace like the triumph of principals. He needed his solitude at times, but he wasn’t a hermit. He did a lot of socializing. Sometimes I think it was like he was storing up company for the times when he knew nobody would be around” (Rebecca LaMarche). This shows that Chris valued self-reliance, he needed to be his own person, with his own vision and way of thinking so that others would not unintentionally influence him along the way.

Chris has his own beliefs about things as has the mentality to follow those beliefs and connects to Chris in this quote, “Men have looked away from themselves and things so long, that they have come to esteem the religious, learned, and civil institutions as guards of property, and they deprecate assaults on these, because the feel them to be assaults on property. They measure their esteem of each other by what each has, and not by what each is” (Rebecca LaMarche). Chris believed that people ought to be held to higher standards and not judged by what they had, but who they were. Therefore, he is self-reliant because of his religious beliefs.

During Chris McCandless High school days, he would do more for others than do more for himself. “Chris spent his high school days feeding the homeless, not going to parties, these small steps led to his bigger dreams of trekking across America, not worrying about the weather, food, going to jail, or money. He was living his life as simply as he could, like a true transcendentalist” (Macy Martin). Chris is so compassionate on what he does, he blocks out the consequences that he can get and proceeds with little to no worries at all on what could happen to him.

At the end of the novel, Chris was living his life happy now when he finally gotten to Alaska and took the photo when there no one around and just him alone. “One of his last acts was to take a picture of himself, standing near the bus under the high Alaska sky, one hand holding his final note toward the camera lens, the other raised in a brave, beatific farewell. His face is horribly emaciated, almost skeletal. But if he pitied himself in those last difficult hours—because he was so young, because he was alone, because his body had betrayed him, and his will let him down—it’s not apparent from the photograph. He is smiling in the picture, and there is no mistaking the look in his eyes: Chris McCandless was at peace, serene as a monk gone to God” (Krakauer 199). McCandless’s youth, his terrible death, and his struggle against the wilderness outside him and the anger within him. Christopher McCandless’s bravery and celebrates his accomplishment, rather than reproving him for his selfishness or his recklessness.

Chris McCandless did this to achieve his goal to reach Alaska on his own with little help from others and relied on himself to make it on his own. He was so proud of himself and even took a photo that he has made it to Alaska. Sadly, Chris has died due to starvation and the poisoned potato seeds he had eaten. Chris was truly happy of what he accomplished.

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Analysis "Into The Wild" by Jon Krakauer. (2020, Oct 29). Retrieved from

Analysis "Into The Wild" by Jon Krakauer
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