Into the Wild: Chris McCandless is a Coward Essay

Into the Wild: Chris McCandless is a Coward Essay

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The distinction between whether an individual is to be considered a hero or a coward lies in their death. The difference is the impact, and the impact differs for a hero than a coward. When a hero dies, the magnitude of the impact on society is greater as society reflects on all the positive achievements that have been accomplished. Their death is more of a rebirth of a soul, the rebirth of hope. However, a coward dies many times before their actual death. The mistakes and tragic falls are considered to be these multiple deaths. “The valiant never taste of death but once”, a quote said by William Shakespeare. Throughout the novel of Into the Wild by Jon Krakeur, Chris McCandless is thought to be a courageous hero by many. However, it is not recalled for a courageous person to take on the role of a wanderlust knowing the result is highly fatal. Walt and Billie McCandless, Chris’s parents, have been making funeral arrangements for the last two days, but in a way, they have been making funeral arrangements for the last two years. That is how long it has been since they have seen their son. This tragedy has no one to blame, except for the young man himself. Chris ran away from facing all that was bothering him. It is understandable to feel immense pressure in life sometimes however, the way he went about dealing with this pressure broke the hearts of his parents and his loved ones and got himself killed. Chris Mccandless is to be considered a selfish coward because of the choices he made in dealing with the problems he had to deal with in his life.
Chris McCandless is a cowardly figure because he is exceptional at abandoning several people in his life, not just his family. People who Chris met on his journeys such as ...


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...irrefutably suggest that he was selfish and unwilling to put any effort into emotional healing with his family, friends and society in general. He was a giver, as shown by his donation to charities, but he could have been much more effective in social justice if he had the maturity and selflessness to pursue it and stick to it. Chris could have been a lasting friend to many people around the country, but he got scared off too easily when facing emotional connections. And most painfully for his family, he could have saved his own life and saved them a lifetime of pain and sorrow if he could have sat down with his parents and siblings to discuss what was bothering him and find ways to work through it. But he ran into the wild, laid his life on the line, and took the coward’s way out.


Works Cited

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

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