Freedom in Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

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In an advanced society such as ours, there are still restrictions and censorship brought upon the citizens that causes freedom to be oppressed. Ultimate freedom is sought out by many in a quest to improve their living style, although a better life style is not always guaranteed. In the novel Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and the novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, both authors depict that having complete freedom challenges a persons’ true moral value, which makes the characters realize what truly matters to them and what they need. This realization causes their outlook towards society and life to change. To expand, ultimate freedom causes a person's life to be in jeopardy and in that moment, they realize what actually matters to them. Once complete freedom is achieved, a person understands what they need in order to attain inner peace. Furthermore, being in the wilderness with no restrictions challenges a person's moral values, that changes accordingly. Lastly, the surroundings of society helps to keep the inner darkness within a person controlled and hidden.

The wilderness can be viewed as a place of freedom or danger. Once a person enters the wilderness their life is at risk, but they have gained complete control over themselves. When a persons’ life is near an end because of the wilderness, they learn an important lesson and figure out what essentially matters to them. Christopher McCandless in Into the Wild identifies the importance of happiness as he is about to die in the Alaska wilderness. As McCandless is about to die, he writes in his personal log, “Happiness only real when shared” (Krakauer 189). This illustrates that McCandless, few moments before his death, realizes that isolating himself in order to gain free...

... middle of paper ... had not been turned to the house. Only one, the first I had made out, was facing my way.” (Conrad 96). This illustrates that Kurtz let himself in darkness and starts following the savages tradition and culture. Kurtz loses all his human values and integrity when he starts to kills other human and starts hanging their skulls. The abundance of freedom and power has made Kurtz power hungry which caused him to let himself in darkness. In both texts the abundance of freedom caused Kurtz and McCandless to loose themselves in darkness. Without civilization watching humanity it cannot keep the darkness in check therefore the complete freedom caused McCandless and Kurtz outlook on life to be extremely dark and evil.

Work Cited

Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness. New York: Penguin, 1999. Print.

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