Into Wild Essay

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“In Into the Wild”, by Jon Krakauer, the focus of the book, Christopher McCandless, displays self reliance very nearly to the point of monomania and self-absorption. It was not until he took off on his Alaskan Odyssey however, that those closest to him realized the intensity of that independence. Through careful research and a personal connection to McCandless, Jon Krakauer gives the reader an inside look at a young man who did not let many people close. To assert his independence and become entirely self-reliant, McCandless took drastic measures to uncover the Truth. Many parallels can be drawn between Chris’ ideals and Emerson’s essay, Self Reliance, in which he teaches that people must seek solitude to hear their own thoughts, because society, and its inhabitants urges men to conform. The increasingly common theme of self-reliance and independence in American literature is a commentary on the ideals people still value. Some of the values that many people in modern society seem to have forgotten are; the quest for personal knowledge, the pursuit of individual happiness while not taking it from others, and above all, the ability to be comfortable in solitude and independence. Emerson goes so far as to call society “a conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members” (Emerson, Self Reliance). This quote is just one of many examples of Chris’ beliefs that he took to heart and in this case, he could not allow himself to conform. To assert his independence Chris McCandless threw away subtlety and immersed himself in the values he thought were worthwhile and pursued the ideals that he felt were important. He alienated his family, invented a new name, and created a new life as Alexander Supertramp. Many people call his actions selfish and cruel, but others believe that while it may have been self-centered, it was a noble and necessary change for him. By not

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