Jon Krakauer and Chris McCandless Essay

Jon Krakauer and Chris McCandless Essay

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It is hard to piece together the beliefs that a Realist person has versus the beliefs of a Transcendentalist has. The book contains both philosophies about them but the book itself portrays more of a Transcendentalist feel to it. The author portrays himself as a Realist, he may be known to write about nature, outdoors, but he has a different outlook. In the book, Into the Wild written by Jon Krakauer talks about a young man named Chris McCandless who decides to walk alone into the wilderness in Alaska to invent a new life for himself. He then struggles to make it out on his own and his body is found inside a bus. While both philosophies of Realism and Transcendental exist in Into the Wild, Realism is the real focus for Jon Krakauer.
Transcendentalists have many characteristics but one of many describes the dignity of manual labor. It cleanses their soul and makes them feel alive. Through the story, Jon tells the readers plenty about the character itself and reveals facts. Since Chris McCandless himself is a Transcendentalist, it is very easy for the author to talk about his tenets. The author states "It was a different story Alex, he was the hardest worker I've ever seen" (Krakauer 35) While Chris continued working for McCandless many people grew affection towards him. His co-workers said great things about him and so did his manager. Nobody imagined that he would go on an adventure and disappear in a couple months. He needed the money at the time, started working for a while, and then headed back on the road. He never gave them his social security number, because he did not want to leave any evidence or for the detective to find him. Krakauer used that quote to show emotion and to let the readers know that Chris surely wished...


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...complishes this by indicating the attributes of realism.

While both philosophies of Realism and Transcendentalism exist in Into the Wild, Realist is the real focus for Jon Krakauer. Since the author is a Realist, he chose to write this book, because he was trying to send a message to all young people. Throughout the book, he tries to not make an authorial presence. Even though Jon Krakauer and Chris have parallel lives they both wanted to accomplish a goal where they felt superior from everyone else. Krakauer dreamed of climbing the mountain Devils Thumb. The difference between the two is that Jon can actually tell a story now based on what he has previously lived. However, I think he is trying to remind us that you do not always get a second chance, Chris McCandless did not.




Work Cited

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

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