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Into the Wild: Chris McCandless- Couragous and Noble Idealist Essay

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“One who formulates, strives after, or attempts to live in accordance with, ideals” is what Funk and Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary describes an idealist as. It is evident that Christopher John McCandless fits this definition in every way: he constructed his own ideals and principles, dreamt up what his consummate existence would pertain, and went for it...head first. This on its own is exceptionally noble, because in order to live out this utopia he envisioned he willingly cut off all of the stability and security that his life at home provided. Contrary to popular belief McCandless was not insane, was not arrogant and seeking praise for his actions, nor did he have a death wish; in actuality he was a noble idealist that acted upon his wildest, dreamt up endeavours. McCandless was an extremely compassionate man, and would always loyally abide by his ideals and principles. What he sought was life in its simplest form; he no longer wanted anything to do with modern society and all of the troubles that it brought. Then lies the extremities to which he took making this all become reality. How many people could honestly claim to have sufficiently reached out to their dreams, could honestly claim that they had at least tried let alone pushed hard enough to succeed?

McCandless was not the 'sit down and take it in stride' kind of person. If he saw something wrong, something he did not agree with, he would try to fix it, or help in any way that he could. He was inherently compassionate, a man of his principles; owned by the rules that he governed himself with. It is apparent that he had always been an idealistic dreamer, and had always believed himself capable of much, because as his friend shared: “He'd say 'Come on,...


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...wn by the fact that in one of the books found with his corpse a he had written: “Happiness only real when shared (186).” One could interpret this as remorse, as him realizing—unfortunately too late—that he had made a tremendous mistake. At least he was man enough to face up to it, rather than to allow himself to die in denial; this merely vouches for his noble ways, because no arrogant imbecile would be able to admit a fault, even to themselves. This says it all, really: “Personal perception of perfection is like that. You see only what you want to see. After a while you just see what you need to (Good, 23).”



Works Cited


Funk and Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary. New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1973.

Good, Matthew. At Last There's Nothing Left To Say. Vancouver: Insomniac Press, 2001. Print.

Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor, 1997. Print.


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