Chris McCandless' Search for Inner Peace

629 Words3 Pages
In the novel Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, the protagonist, Christopher McCandless, displays isolation and independence almost to the point of narcissism but it was not until he set out on his journey into the wild that those closest to him realized the true height of his individualism. In McCandless’s eyes, people in his society have forgotten about the value in the pursuit of personal knowledge, the chase of individual happiness, and the existence without materialistic objects. On his journey, McCandless takes drastic measures to uncover, find and discover who he is and what he is capable of, isolating himself physically and mentally, driven by the idea that society urges men to conform.

Turning his back on society, Chris McCandless throws away materialistic comfort and immerses himself in the values he believes to be important and pursues the ideals that he feels are worthwhile. He branches away from his family, friends, school and entirely abandons his identity as Christopher McCandless and creates a new one as Alexander Supertramp. His actions, often considered to be selfish and cruel, might have been necessary and almost noble change for him. By not even communicating with his sister, Carine, the one person to whom he was quite close to, Chris makes it quite obvious that he does not want to be found. Before, Chris had pushed himself through university, academically and physically as a top student and athlete and later on his journey, pushes himself to be completely independent because, “…it was important for him to see how independent he could be” (Krakauer 125). This quote illustrates the side of Chris that challenges himself to simply challenge himself— not a result of his romantic infatuation for self ...

... middle of paper ..., McCandless replies, “Hell no…how I feel myself is none of the government’s business” (Krakauer 6). With this statement, Chris demonstrates that he is the ultimate non-conformist, that he is an individualist. “He needed his solitude at times, but he wasn’t a hermit. He did a lot of socializing. Sometimes I think it was like he was storing up company for the times when he knew nobody would be around” (Krakauer 45). With that said, Chris understood the importance of being his own person, with his own ideas and views and his own way of thinking so that others could not manipulate him along the way. He realized that the only way for him to find his own freedom and peace was to be self-centered and to put himself before others without others polluting his sense of existence.

Work Cited

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