Pursuit of Happiness

473 Words2 Pages
To be happy most people buy themselves things. They surround themselves with material objects that make them happy. Christopher McCandless, however, is the opposite; he wants to get rid of the material world. In his conquest to rid himself of the false elution of material happiness he heads to Alaska to live alone and to be a part of the wild. This theme of happiness through simplicity with nature weaves itself throughout Into the Wild. The dominant tone of the work can be described as factual, a voice of conflicting emotion. On one hand we hear Chris’ excitement, happiness, and hope as he heads out on his adventure “into the wild”, but on the other we hear his desperate hopelessness as he physically deteriorates. The reporter style of the book makes this contrast obvious, but lessens the emotional side of the story. As a reader you often forget that this is a true story; yet as powerful as it is you do not laugh or cry like you might with another book. Krakauer is not telling a story; he is reporting Chris’ journey. A strong passage that provides Chris’ perspective is found in one of his letters sent as “Alex”. In this letter that he sent to Ron Franz, the fellow adventurer who drove Chris from California to South Dakota, Alex writes, “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they’re conditioned to a life of security, comfort and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future.” (57) Franz receives this letter in April of 1992; it is clear that he is excited to be on his quest for a simple, happier life. His definition of happiness is what he is pursuing. In contrast to Chris’ enthusiasm for following his dream is the harsh reality of his emotional state
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