“On March 14, Franz left McCandless on the shoulder of Interstate 70 outside Grand Junction and returned to southern California. McCandless was thrilled to be on his way north, and he was relieved as well—relieved that he had again evaded the impending threat of human intimacy, of friendship, and all the messy emotional baggage that comes with it. He had fled the claustrophobic confines of his family. He’d successfully kept Jan Burres and Wayne Westerberg at arm’s length, flitting out of their lives before anything was expected of him. And now he’d slipped painlessly out of Ron Franz’s life as well.” (Krakauer 55).
(E) Chris lived his life meticulously avoiding interpersonal relationships because he disliked the “emotional baggage” that accompanies such bonds. People with personalities like Chris’s are often described as asocial, meaning they dislike the company of other people. While asocial personalities are fairly common as is, it can be observed how extreme asocial tendencies can affect a person’s mental health, and in Chris’s case, one’s ego. Distancing himself from human emotions gives Chris a sense of superiority because he feels he is free of the emotional ties that keep people burdened by society. The more he distances himself, the more it fuels his arrogance, which eventually boils over to the point where he thinks he is smart enough to survive alone in the wilderness without any survival skills or advanced tools. From this, Krakauer exemplifies how social isolation is often justified by one’s sense of superiority over others. Social connections are necessary for us because the feeling of being understood by others and in turn understanding others is wh...
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...ile she was in an abusive marriage with Jody. However, once she comes back, she explains how she is able to ‘live by comparisons’ since the house is full of memories of Tea Cake. After Jody died, Tea Cake was able to show Janie what it felt like to be in love again, and made new memories for her in the house that was once symbolic of her prior abusive relationship. While the house still carries a bitter past, Janie is able to view it comparatively; rather than getting lost in the bitterness, she is able to see how much better the house and her life became because of Tea Cake. The author Janie’s changed mindset to show that while positive memories can never truly erase the negative ones, they can show us how we have changed, grown, and adapted to our situations. Like Janie, we too have the potential to change our lives for the better by changing our perspectives.
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