Chris McCandless' Pursuit of the Transcendentalist Dream Essay

Chris McCandless' Pursuit of the Transcendentalist Dream Essay

Length: 873 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Beliefs are what define humans not as a society, but as individuals. Individualism is a large part of Transcendentalism, which was a movement started in the mid-nineteenth century led by figures such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Into the Wild, written in 1997 by Jon Krakauer, is a modern novel that examines a transcendentalist young adult. That young man is Chris McCandless, who leaves his family at the age of 23 to live the Transcendentalist dream. He hitchhikes and travels through many rivers and cities to get to Alaska, the place where he believes he can finally experience that dream. Transcendentalism is the idea that humans are innately one with nature, and therefore God, and that nature is the only place where humans belong because society is poisonous. By enjoying himself and connecting with god through the environment in an isolated location, Chris McCandless demonstrates that he is a faithful Transcendentalist.
Because he is a true believer, Chris McCandless is a very spiritual person. Although he never states he is part of a specific religion, he believes in a some godly presence; an important part of being a Transcendentalist. In the end of the book, when Chris is near his inevitable passing, he writes a farewell note to anyone who finds his body. In his final note, he is very euphoric, and not at all regretful of his decision to venture into the Alaskan bush, “I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD. GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL!” (199). Because he said he had a happy life, and that he thanks the lord, it is clear that Chris appreciates the spirituality within Transcendentalism. It takes true dedication and appreciation in Chris’s final moment to write about spirituality, which is why he includ...

... middle of paper ...

...mplary devotee.
Because of certain traits exhibited by Chris, he is representative of the true meaning of Transcendentalism. For example, he is always enchanted with nature, seeking it’s unlimited freedom wherever he may be. He also sees it as a place of rebirth, a way to escape his old life and start anew. Additionally, he doesn’t need other people, because he holds nature closer to his heart than anyone human he knows. Finally, he finds spirituality within the wilderness, for he directs all of his positive feelings towards a tangible image of higher power. All of those reasons support the fact that Chris is a true believer. Because Chris enjoys being in nature, draws a spiritual meaning from it, and sees it as a place of rebirth, he is a prime example Transcendentalism.

Work Cited

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

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Chris McCandless is a True Transcendentalist Essay

- "So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of SECURITY, CONFORMITY and CONSERVATISM, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind. But in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit of a man than a secure future...."(Krakauer, 58). To be a transcendentalist you have to be unsure, at all times. You have to completely trust your gut and believe that you know you are doing the right thing....   [tags: Into the Wild Essays]

Better Essays
906 words (2.6 pages)

Transcendentalist Writers: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman

- All young people dream of breaking away from their parents and building their own lives. They yearn to follow their dreams, no matter how wild and crazy, and eventually hope to piece together their true selves. When Christopher McCandless graduated from college and took to the road with no word to his family, he might have appeared to be just another regular kid with overly strong ambitions and an uncontrolled, insatiable thirst for freedom. However, McCandless was more than an average young man who was trying to escape his parents’ control and live recklessly on his own devices....   [tags: Christopher McCandless , ideologies]

Better Essays
1447 words (4.1 pages)

Essay about Transcendentalism In Into The Wild By Chris Mccandless

- On April 1992, a young man from a wealthy family went to have the most amazing experience of a lifetime. He went hiking to the Alaskan Frontier, from the Grand Canyon, and through Chesapeake Beach. His name was Christopher McCandless and he wanted the best for himself. He first burned the cash inside of his wallet, cut up his ID’s, and abandoned his car. He even gave away $24,000 in savings to charity. The story “Into The Wild” describes how Chris McCandless changed his name to Alexander Supertramp....   [tags: Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild]

Better Essays
928 words (2.7 pages)

Transcendentalism In Into The Wild By Chris Mccandless Essay example

- In the movie Into the Wild Chris McCandless, the main character, held many of the same transcendentalist ideals that influential transcendentalists such as Henry David Thoreau held; however, Chris is a prime example of someone who missed the point by a long shot. In accordance to the transcendentalist beliefs, Chris decided that after going to college he would go out into the world by himself instead of going into the workforce. From there, he went on a long and exhausting journey to eventually end up in Alaska....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Better Essays
1114 words (3.2 pages)

Into the Wild: Chris McCandless is a Tragic Hero Essay

- Jon Krakauer, fascinated by a young man in April 1992 who hitchhiked to Alaska and lived alone in the wild for four months before his decomposed body was discovered, writes the story of Christopher McCandless, in his national bestseller: Into the Wild. McCandless was always a unique and intelligent boy who saw the world differently. Into the Wild explores all aspects of McCandless’s life in order to better understand the reason why a smart, social boy, from an upper class family would put himself in extraordinary peril by living off the land in the Alaskan Bush....   [tags: Character of Chris McCandless]

Better Essays
1654 words (4.7 pages)

Chris Mccandless And Transcendentalism Essay

- McCandless and Transcendentalism Into The Wild by John Krauker is based around the story of Chris McCandless, a bright young man who believed that a life in the Alaskan wilderness would help him to live a more deliberate life. He followed many transcendentalist keys without openly admitting to it or stating it upright. Some of these include having few belongings when he passed away, not continuing the path that was in store for him, and braving the Alaskan wilderness with few belongings to his name....   [tags: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Transcendentalism]

Better Essays
1066 words (3 pages)

Chris Mccandless And Transcendentalism Essays

- Chris McCandless and Transcendentalism In Into the Wild Chris McCandless embarks on a solo trip wherever the road takes him with the final goal of conquering the Alaskan wilderness. McCandless was always fascinated with the wilderness and after he graduates from Emory college he decides to leave his family in the suburbs of Virginia. Throughout high-school and college McCandless kept a 4.0 grade point average but as soon as his time was up he went out on his own. Some call him stupid and selfish because he left his family behind without telling them where he was or where he was going....   [tags: Henry David Thoreau, Wilderness, Transcendentalism]

Better Essays
947 words (2.7 pages)

Chris McCandless is a Transcendentalist Essay

- In the film Into the Wild directed by Sean Penn, viewers may have gathered enough evidence to back up their thoughts on Christopher McCandless being a transcendentalist or a non-transcendentalist. Chris portrayed the effort of being a transcendentalist just as Ralph Waldo Emerson and David Thoreau did. He abandoned his nice life to hitchhike all over North America and he was happy about it. McCandless unfortunately died in the wilderness of Alaska after he had eaten moldy seeds. Sooner or later, that mistake was enough to end his life....   [tags: Into the Wild Essays]

Better Essays
609 words (1.7 pages)

Essay about Chris McCandless: A True Transcendentalist

- There have been many minor transcendentalists in today’s society. Martin Luther King Jr. is a prime example. He was a non-conformist.Individuals around the world still continue to look up to Martin Luther King Jr. and really admire him for this. Another transcendentalist is a man named Christopher McCandless. Chris McCandless is admirable like other transcendentalists because he was a non-conformist, fought to overcome the hardships of life, and accepted his fate which proves that he was a modern day transcendentalist....   [tags: non-conformist, boycott, civil rights]

Better Essays
882 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about Chris McCandless: A True Transcendentalist

- Billie and Walt McCandless quietly shed tears concerning their twenty-four year old son, Chris McCandless, who had not talked to them for over two years and was found dead in the Alaskan woods. They question why their son had left society, left his own parents nevertheless, and risked his life which ended in his fatality. The transcendental principles which include rejection of society, intuition, and searching for a purpose of life may have guided the aforesaid experience-seeking individual. Chris McCandless’s identification as a transcendentalist is confirmed through his nonconformist actions, his human relationships, and his quest for a higher truth....   [tags: Into the Wild Essays]

Better Essays
1071 words (3.1 pages)