How Is Freedom And Freedom In Into The Wild

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Into the Wild Essay “‘Government is best which governs not at all,’” Henry David Thoreau once said. Thoreau, author of “Civil Disobedience” and “Walden,” believed that “government” and “restrictions” were synonymous, especially regarding education and liberty. In Into the Wild, by John Krakauer, the main character, Chris McCandless, lived as free from any restriction, whether in law or imposed by other individuals, as he possibly could in order to greatly enhance his quality of life and his level of education. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, one of the great French philosophers of the eighteenth century and author of “Emile,” had similar beliefs to those of Thoreau and McCandless regarding government, freedom, and education. In the twenty-first century,…show more content…
Both men believed strongly that “government is best which governs least,” and they both despised when any sort of authority was imposed on them (Thoreau 137). McCandless had the utmost disdain for governing bodies and “‘their stupid rules’” (Krakauer 6). He wanted absolutely nothing to do with the government in any facet of his life, and he especially did not want the government interfering with his education. The government and its agencies impeded on his education several times throughout the text. The first major time the government attempted and failed to limit the extent of the education of McCandless was when he was in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. National parks limit and regulate off-road driving instead of allowing park attendees the freedom of exploring to their fullest capabilities. He ignored “posted warnings that off-road driving [was] strictly forbidden,” and “McCandless steered the Datsun off the pavement where it crossed a broad, sandy wash” (Krakauer 27). Especially in the case of McCandless, the government was “inexpedient” regarding the education of Chris, acting as more of a nuisance or a road block than anything that would benefit his education (Thoreau 137). Chris realized early on that it is the people of a nation, not the government of one, that “keep the country free… settle the West,” and “educate” (Thoreau 138).…show more content…
Thoreau was an abolitionist, so he was extremely against slavery in the USA. Thoreau understood how utterly horrendous the enslavement of one human being by another is, but he believed that the enslavement of the human mind by oneself was the worst type of slavery. He argued that “it is hard to have a southern overseer; it is worse to have a northern one” (Thoreau 1762). Slaves had minimal control over their life choices in the USA. Most slaves were forced to remain illiterate and uneducated throughout their entire lives. If they attempted to learn to read or teach their children, their owners would beat them. To slave owners, slaves were solely a regulated, cheap labor force that they could use however they wanted. To Chris, public high school was similar to southern slavery. He was extremely frustrated with the lack of education he was receiving, but this educational slavery was to be expected from an institution run by the government, which, to McCandless, only existed to interfere with and obstruct the amount of liberty people have to acquire new information and control their own lives. Chris may have only attended Emory University because he believed he would have vastly greater amounts of academic freedom. Chris may have thought that universities were groups of buildings that students utilize in order to learn immensely more information than was possible in high school. He viewed college more
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