The Destruction Of Chris Mccandless, By Jon Krakauer

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Chris McCandless was a young man who gave up his belongings to live in the wild away from society, and his journey was to find fulfillment and the meaning of life through nature. In the nonfiction book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, Krakauer writes about the details of Chris McCandless’s journey to find and reinvent himself as he lives off the land in the Alaskan wilderness. Throughout the book, Krakauer portrays McCandless as a hero for rejecting society and falling victim to this bravery. However, Chris McCandless’s death is not an example of heroism and he did not fall victim to his courage. Instead, McCandless died as a result of ignorance and overconfidence that clouded his self-perception and ultimately led to his downfall. Jon Krakauer…show more content…
However, a prime example of McCandless’s ignorance that stemmed many of his other mistakes is his confusion between fiction and reality. McCandless took inspiration, maybe even too much of it, from authors such as Jack London, Henry David Thoreau, and Leo Tolstoy because their passions mirrored his own (Krakauer 44). He was mostly inspired by Jack London, whose work absolutely mesmerized McCandless. Although Jack London profoundly romanticized nature in his stories, McCandless placed London on one of the highest pedestals of authors he loved and even carved“Jack London is king” (Krakauer 9) into a piece of wood found at his death site. McCandless used these books as a form of guidance during his time alone in the wilderness and disregarded the fact that much of the authors’ content was completely fictional. Consequently, Chris embarked on his journey with an unclear distinction between reality and fiction and with a distorted, unrealistic impression of nature. An ignorant Chris McCandless truly believed he could survive by picking and eating edible berries based off a guide he purchased at the University of Alaska (Krakauer 160), explaining McCandless’s ill-preparedness. McCandless did not know enough legitimate information about nature and was unaware of how prepared he actually had to be if he…show more content…
McCandless displayed arrogance multiple times when he met new people while hitchhiking. A specific example of his arrogance is when he met Ronald Franz, a retired war veteran. McCandless had strict morals and pushed Franz, an “old-timer,” to live off the land the same way he was doing at the time. In a letter to Franz, Chris wrote, “Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life… I guarantee you will be very glad you did” (Krakauer 57). This quote reveals that McCandless genuinely believed his actions were correct and that this way of life--living off the land-- was better than being apart of society and always having a sense of security. McCandless was extremely confident in what he was doing and refused to listen to Franz whenever he tried to convince him to settle down. He even argued back telling Franz that there was no need to worry about him because he had a college education, was not destitute, and that living off the land was done by choice (Krakauer 51). Chris McCandless was so confident in his journey and overestimated his ability to survive. He felt that he could succeed in the wild with nothing, yet nature proved him wrong as he later ended up dying of starvation. Nevertheless, one of the underlying causes of Chris’ death was his arrogance since McCandless

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