There have been dozens of marginal characters who have ventured off into the world to find their purpose in life. John Mallon Waterman and Carl McCunn are just a few of the many who have took part in this quest. Waterman was a mentally unstable hiker who died trying to hike the mountains of Denali. McCunn was another soulful explorer who photographed wildlife, but committed suicide after finding himself trapped in the depths of Brooks Range. But one man, Chris McCandless, lies in the center of these two adventurists.
McCandless was neither mentally unstable, nor did he assume that someone would magically appear to save him. McCandless set off into the Alaskan depths to test himself, to find himself, and to free himself from society’s values. Because of Chris’s radical ideas and his purpose in life to push him into the unexplored, he believed that life is not about the materialistic things, but constructing a life of happiness in the great unknown.
He was set on the idea that individuals should handle life with their hands and their own head. He believed that rationality and reason was what destroyed life, and that man’s spirit develops through his experiences. His unique ideas and wild adventures demonstrate that Chris McCandless was a devoted, modern day transcendentalist.
When Chris McCandless dove into the depths of nature, he did so because he believed that nature was the only way an individual could free himself from the barriers of society. In the article “Death of an Innocent,” author Jon Krakauer describes him donating his Oxford Famine Relief Fund and leaving society behind without informing anyone.
As the author, Jon Krakauer, mentions, “Chris McCandless intended to invent a new life for himself, one in which he would be free to wallow in unfiltered experience.” Through the words “to wallow in unfiltered experience,” Krakauer is describing how nature does not come with safety nets, security, familiarity or comfort. It is a place where there are no…