Chris “Mccareless” Now Walks Into the “Wild”

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Aristotle once said, “A man does not become a tragic hero until he can see the root of his own downfall.” A tragic hero is defined as a character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his or her own destruction. Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, tells the story of Chris McCandless’s unsuccessful journey into the Alaskan wilderness for hopes of experiencing a transcendental lifestyle. Krakauer interviewed many of the people McCandless had crossed paths with during his journey, and embedded different viewpoints of McCandless throughout the chapters. While there are many different views of McCandless, whether he is a tragic hero is the most popular. Despite the fact readers may view McCandless as having possessed many characteristics of a tragic hero, such as his fate being greater than he deserved, ability to learn from mistakes, and representation of Transcendentalism, his journey proved them all wrong. McCandless was ignorant, lacked common sense, and did not truly live a transcendental lifestyle. Although the tragic death of Christopher McCandless portrays him as a tragic hero for those who believed in a transcendental lifestyle, closer examination on his personality and the decisions he made on his journey provides enough evidence to refute the perspective of McCandless’s heroism. Readers may view McCandless’s fate greater than he deserved, but his journey and fatal death proved he was simply ignorant, made poor decisions, and got what he deserved. One of his biggest mistakes was his lack of common sense. He decided to go out into the wild with not enough food or survival equipment to sustain himself. One of the people Krakauer interviews, Jim Gallien, commented about McCandless, “He wasn’t carrying anywhere near as much food and gear you’d expect a guy to be carrying for any kind of trip” (4). Even though some readers may argue that he did not deserve

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