Transcendentalism In Into The Wild

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“Into the Wild” is a thought-provoking yet tragic film that depicts Sean Penn’s adaptation of the nonfiction novel by Jon Krakauer. The film portrays the gruesome fate of Christopher Johnson McCandless, a brave, charming, and troubled 22-year-old college graduate who set out into the natural world on a path of self-discovery and true happiness. In the beginning of the film Chris McCandless is introduced as a dreamer. His literary heroes included transcendentalists Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Jack London. The thinking behind McCandless’ rash decision stems from his anger with his parents for the lies and infidelities he witnessed as a child. Another contribution included his affinity for nature as it symbolized freedom and his desire to escape civilization. Following in the footsteps of his heroes, McCandless donated his $24,000 funding for law school to charity, gave away all of his material possessions, and left his family and friends with vague letters of his whereabouts. For 2 years, Chris adopted an alias as Alexander…show more content…
It not only opens the eyes of the audience, but it also allows one to quickly learn from Chris McCandless’ mistakes and unintentionally harbor a great deal of respect for the naïve adolescent. Though one may not take such extreme measures to live in the Alaskan wilderness with no supplies, it serves as an emotional punch for life and its casualties. The end the film expresses both the fear and elation of life as individuals struggle to find his/her own path instead of what society tries to dictate to us. Overall, McCandless teaches us that human life cannot be ruled by reason and this unfortunately disestablishes our ability to have any certainty in life. What is the point of knowing exactly how your life will play out? Sean Penn accurately portrays these thoughts and feelings in the astonishing film “Into the
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