Chris McCandless stated that he wanted to “test his limits test my limits, I guess, to see what it’s like to be hungry. I’m trying to put myself in an environment where nothing’s spoon-fed.” However, he failed and died trying to achieve his dream of self sufficiency. Many people believe that he was a pilgrim, trekking for a cause through the United States, which is finding yourself and not just being a statistic in society. But Chris McCandless was none of things, but a selfish person. He gave up everything in his life to follow what he believed to be his calling, but in the process abandoned everyone who cared about him without so much as a goodbye. Although he believed he was doing the best thing for himself, he forgot that humans are social creatures and need other people to survive. Many of his actions, which many see as trailblazing, are what led him into the Alaskan wilderness and ultimately to his demise. Christopher McCandless was a selfish person who believed that he was better off wandering around and “finding” himself than staying with his family and being a productive and caring person to other people.
In the movie Into the Wild, Christopher was a very successful graduate from Emory University in Atlanta. After graduating there he talked with his parents about seeking a master’s degree from Harvard University, which is a testament to how smart he was and his aspirations to make something of himself in the future. However, during that same conversation, he tells his parents, who had just offered to buy him a brand new car, that his old one was just fine, and that he didn’t need a new car. This shows his distaste with looking like the average person in society and his affinity for being different. He tells them he wants to take 2 months off before starting his master’s degree to clean up some stuff but he probably meant that he was going to go away and take on a new name, “Alexander Supertramp” (Brown).
After Christopher finished talking with his parents, he sets off on a journey that he doesn’t know the destination of, and along the way, burns his money, social security card and his other possessions, fully liberating himself from the claws of society, which is his greatest wish (Emerson). He continues on and eventually finds his way into Los Angeles, where he is again confronted with what he believes is the negatives of society, which is poverty, violence and the unfriendliness that busy people often unintentionally show others. This reinforced his resolve to get away from the clutches of society and become what he considered his own person, living off the land and being self sufficient. But while doing so he led himself closer and closer to what would eventually be his demise in that remote bus.
Christopher’s greatest wish was to be free from the hold of society. He wanted to find who he truly was and achieve that inner glory for himself. He wanted to do this by isolating himself, much like Henry David Thoreau did at Walden Pond. But Thoreau eventually realized the truth about people, and that “some connection with people is essential to a serene and healthy life” (Thoreau 131). Christopher, however, never realized this and led himself on a journey that would eventually result in his death. Thoreau realized that a mix of both sides of the dilemma, living off the land and having relations with people, was needed to maintain a successful life. Christopher only saw one side of this and that was one off the reasons that he was unable to survive the journey he put himself on. Because of Christopher’s stubbornness, he placed himself in a situation he could not get out from and died because of it.