In what could have been Chris McCandless’s last contact with humanity he tells his new comrade, Wayne Westerberg, “If this adventure proves fatal and you don’t hear from me again I want you to know you are a great man. I now walk into the wild” (Krakauer 3). For 112 days Chris lived off the harsh Alaskan land. For anyone who is brave enough to travel on the stampede trail and cross the treacherous Teklanika River you will come across the Fairbanks City Transit System Bus 142. Once a backcountry shelter for hunters, trappers, ranger patrols, and for a short time Chris McCandless, Bus 142 now serves as a memorial for Chris McCandless.
In 1990, when he was 22 years old, Christopher McCandless ventured out into the Alaska wilderness in search for true happiness, and 2 years later he suffered a tragic death. An aspiring writer, Jon Krakauer, found McCandless’ story fascinating and chose to dedicate 3 years of his life to write a novel about him. The book entitled “Into the Wild” tells the tale of Christopher McCandless, an ill prepared transcendentalist longing for philosophical enrichment, who naïvely, failed to consider the dangers of isolating himself from human society for such a long period of time. Though Christopher McCandless made a courageous attempt to separate himself from society, in order to achieve self-fulfillment, the stubborn nature of this reckless greenhorn led him to his unfortunate demise. Christopher McCandless’ stubborn personality causes him to leave a loving home in order to start a new beginning as “ Alexander Supertramp, master of his own destiny”(Krakauer 23).
"Author's Note." Into the Wild. New York: Anchor, 1997. N. Print. Krakauer, Jon.
Chris McCandless was still just a young man when he decided to drastically alter his life through the form of a child’s foolishness. However, Chris had not known at the time just how powerful his testimony against his father’s authority, society, or maybe even his own lifestyle was going to be revolutionary throughout not only Alaska,not even the lower 48, but the world. The story of Chris McCandless is a much talked about debate on topics of safety and preparedness in the wild, these things forever associated with the boy who was a little too eager for a death wish. Today, Chris is remember as a fool or a hero. The fool, a boy who allowed himself to be drowned in a fictional world inspired by his readings,dying because he ignored he was just a normal human being or the hero who set out to become something more.
The day is unlike any other. The mail has come and lying at the bottom of the stack is the favored Outside magazine. The headline reads, “Exclusive Report: Lost in the Wild.” The cover speaks of a twenty four year old boy who “walked off into America’s Last Frontier hoping to make sense of his life.” The monotony of the ordinary day has now vanished from thought as Jon Krakauer’s captivating article runs through the mind like gasoline to an engine. The article is not soon forgotten, and the book Into the Wild is happened upon three years later. The book relates the full story of Christopher Johnson McCandless and how he left his family and friends after graduating college in order to find himself.
“I now walk into the wild” (3). It was April 1992 a young man from a rather wealthy family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness. His name was Christopher McCandless. He gave all of his savings to a charity, abandoned his car in the desert, left all his possessions, burned his money and wallet, and invented an alter ego all to shun society. Four months after his adventure, his decomposing body was found in bus 142 by a moose hunter.
Chris McCandless had exceptional reasons for vacating the life he lived which are also justified; he was also was not foolish for leaving that life and the outcome of his journey was a triumph and not a tragedy. McCandless had exceptional reasons for leaving home and taking on the life of a homeless person living in the wild. McCandless wanted to experience this type of individuality and to experience the life that Henry David Thoreau once lived, however there where more reasons on why he ultimately left home and decided to live the life of a free man. In the book, McKinney explains that Chris was convinced that humans had grown into inferior people and that it was his goal to return to the natural state of being a human (74). He also continued to say that Chris was experiencing what ancient civilizations experienced and that by the end of his lifestyle he had incorporated elements of Neolithic (74).
Death of an Innocent, a true story written by Jon Krakauer, is about the character Christopher McCandless also known as Alex Supertramp who estranged himself from his family and others who do not understand his desire to live deliberately. When Thoreau said “living deliberately,” he meant to live to the fullest by searching for what it means to be alive, to be part of nature. He meant trying to understand your place in the world, how you fit in it, and by understanding yourself. To Thoreau, where you live defines if you are in tune with yourself and the world. He felt you needed to live in harmony with nature, and live a simple life with no distractions.
He wanted to figure out if this life in nature was mean or sublime. If it was mean, he hoped to publish his findings to the world, but if it was sublime, he would just know this knowledge and use it for his next excursion. Thoreau heavily believed in simplicity. He felt everything should be simplified, and that people were squandered by details. As he said, “ Simplicity, simplicity,