“Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer and “Castaway”, directed by Robert Zemeckis, both describe and explain the journey of two young men while living in the wild, and the mountains they must climb to achieve their main goal: survival. However, both men go through entirely different experiences for different reasons. Chris McCandless, from “Into the Wild”, decides to leave everything he has and to go on a journey through the United States, which takes him to Alaska.
There he spend his days on an abandoned bus. He lives a very comfortable life style compared to Chuck Noland from Castaway. Chuck doesn’t have a comfortable shelter, cooking devices or washing abilities that McCandless has. More importantly, the reasons why they are on their journeys are entirely different. McCandless chose to be in Alaska and to live on the land. Noland’s plane crashed into the ocean, which forced him to be stranded alone on an island. Throughout these two stories, Robert Zemeckis still comes to the conclusion that when a man is trying to survive and when his life is in danger, he will do anything to live. I agree with this, I feel anyone would try to survive with all their might. Life is not something just to throw away.
Noland has experiences on the island which overall force him to survive. When first becoming stranded on the island, Noland seems terrified. It’s seen as ironic because just before he was portrayed as a fearless and self-confident employee of a mainstream shipping company. Noland’s first gut feeling when arriving on the island is to collect all the wreckage from his plane that floats up on shore. Zemeckis’ belief seems to become true at this point. After this situation, Noland collects boxes and builds his first shelter. This puts him on a mission for food, which overall forces him on a diet of coconuts and small crabs.
After his first attempt of getting off the island was unsuccessful, it seems the only possible way for survival is to wait on the island for someone to rescue him. At this point, Noland decides the only way to get off the island is to live no matter what and deal with the obstacles he will have to climb over. Throughout the four years on the island, Noland generates a calendar, time system and wind patterns. Time is something that’s not as easily watched on the island as it was when Noland was in civilization. Throughout his time on the island, death seems to throw itself at Noland. Receiving the skate with sharp blade, the box with angel wings, and his dead comrade from the airplane, seem to remind him of death.
The thought of suicide becomes visible when Noland builds a noose out of a rope. However, the site of his fiancee’s picture is the only reason why Noland wants to survive. He needs human contact. He becomes so lonely living by himself that the only way for him to live and not to commit suicide is to create Wilson. He uses a volleyball as his means of socialization which over his four years on the island makes him more sane than he would be without it. However, talking with a volleyball only makes him live until his sail gets washed up on shore where he has an awakening, “We might just make it. Did that thought ever cross your brain?
Well regardless I would rather take my chance out there on the ocean, than to stay here and die on this shit-hole island spending the rest of my life talking to a goddamn volleyball”, Noland explains to Wilson. Noland obsesses with the tide, getting off the island is now a must, “I’ve got to keep breathing. Because tomorrow, the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?” Noland says. At this point, he makes a raft with his new sail and breaks away from the island with the right tide. Noland returns to civilization, where has life restarts.