Into The Wild
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Into The Wild
Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that opposed against modern day society and modern culture, transcendentalist look further than normal people who just settled for what is told to them. Nature is one of the most important aspects, Transcendentalists believe nature is linked to god and soul, God and Soul can be found in the tranquility of nature. Chris McCandless is a kid fresh out of College who had a dysfunctional family and a dreadful childhood the only people he had feelings for were his sister and his dog. Chris never felt comfortable in society or socializing, In general Chris was a kid who couldn’t handle living in modern society and ran away from it all. Chris did not go “into the wild” to find god or go on a spiritual journey he just ran away, But Chris does have some transcendentalists values for example he gave away what was left of the money in his college fund and burnt the rest he did this to try and cut all ties to modern day society, Chris Mccandless is not a modern day transcendentalist.
Chris left to wander the country by himself with just the clothes on his back and some books, During his journey Chris met Mr.Franz an old man who took fond of chris and wanted to help him change his lifestyle but in the end chris changed his life. Alvarez 2
When Mr. Franz told chris that he needed to change how he is living and find a job Chris said “Mr. Franz, I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don’t want one”. It seems that chris wants to live with no responsibilities or ties to anyone, Chris wants to live in an uncivilized world where no one needs to work to survive just live of the land . Chris is acting childish because you need a job in this world to prosper and survive no one wants to get a job but its something that has to be done its part of life, plus he went to college he has a degree so he should of had no problem finding a good job with a good salary. Chris did not want to grow up. Chris’s hated his father Walt because his father had an affair and has another son. Walt never told Chris this so when chris found out he was infuriated. Chris hated his mother because she would never do anything and always take walts side. In general he just hated his parents. Before Chris Graduated he made a plan to leave his parents forever he said “Since they won’t ever take me seriously, for a few months after graduation I’m going to let them think they are right .
I’m going to divorce them as my parents once and for all and never speak either of those idiots again”(Chris). If he hated his parents thats fine he could’ve just move out and not talk to them as much that would have resolved his problem but chris took a more radical, rebellious, childish approach. Chris did not leave home and abandoned all his ties to society just for the sole purpose of finding himself and god he left because he did not like his parents and this was a way of hurting them. Chris Mccandless’s main goal in his whole adventure was to go to Alaska and live in the wild just by himself. His is doing what many transcendentalist have done before him, Like Henry David Thoreau one of the greatest leading transcendentalists. As Thoreau said in ‘Walden’, on line 30, it says, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover Alvarez 3
that I had not lived.”. Thoreau believed that people can truly learn from nature and so did Chris. Chris also burned his money because money was materialism and transcendentalists are very against materialism so money did not have any value to him which also showed that he was a nonconformist and was not willing to conform to society. These are one of the reasons why people would think that he is a transcendentalist. Chris just threw away his comfortable high middle class life a simpler life on the road. Plenty of people could only dream of living how Chris lived, in college he learned about how people in other countries were living in poverty and instead of learning and being grateful for what he has Chris did the opposite and ran away from it. Chris did go into the wild and lived off the land without many material things just like many great transcendentalist before him but not for the reasons they did. Henry Thoreau found himself in nature he found his purpose of living.
Transcendentalist believe in people being able to do what they please and everyone has potential or a purpose and people should find this by themselves, But chris always judged people and was forcing people to do as he did which is not something a true transcendentalist would do. Chris always told people that they needed to make a “Radical Change” in their lives like he told Mr. Franz. “I really hope that as soon as you can you will get out of Salton City,put a little camper on the back of your pickup, and start seeing some of the great work that God has done here in the American West, as a general rule spend as little as possible and you will enjoy it much more immensely”. Chris always told everyone he met that they should live like him, He is being sort of hypocritical because one of the main reasons he left was because everyone always told what was best for him and what he should do and now he is doing the exact same thing. Transcendentalist don’t push people to do things but guide them and let them choose for themselves. Alvarez 4
Chris was a very bright man who just could not fit into our modern day society. He did not want to get a job he did not like to socialize he was just an odd kid who lived in his own world. He did have some transcendentalist values but not enough to be called a transcendentalist. The main thing that fueled his journey was his hatred against his parents, The reason that chris disliked society was because he could not fit into it and it looks like he did not even try to. Chris was not a modernday transcendentalist.