To Build a Fire by Jack London and Into The Wild, by Jon Krakauer

To Build a Fire by Jack London and Into The Wild, by Jon Krakauer

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Imagine you were someone who could do whatever thing for his own personal gain. How could the feeling of taking over a certain part of the world be like? Wouldn’t it be nice to realize that you have the supremacy to do everything? All of this is generally considered a fantasy of mankind. There is no man or women that can do all. There was one fellow, who had this feeling, of conquering a certain space from which not many people attempt to do. This man, Chris McCandless, had been filled with hubris in his mind to conquer the outside part of society, the wild. Although his spirits for an attempt to accomplish this were so high, all’s not so well that ends not so well; which, in other words, came forth the death of Christopher Johnson McCandless. This man, was a man who, unlike many of us, thought that by following his hubris, and conquering nature by living there a long time all by himself, he would be considered a man who had the capability to conquer almost everything. Chris McCandless was a very unconventional thinker, has the spirits of adventure, and enjoys freedom. Plus, from every part of information that we have acquired from Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, we must assume that it is Chris’ own hubris that leads him to his own certain demise, because what if we assured that the flaws of society today lead him to his loss of life? More than one person like Chris should’ve been mentioned that their scenario’s were very similar or the exact same of Chris’ case that he himself had possessed in his life.

First, Chris was an unconventional thinker, which meant that he never conformed to specific pieces of society. He merely takes ideas from his readings and uses them to be the owner of his philosophy. Not everyone would use ideas that come from people that were never popularized or anything of the sort. Chris, on the other hand, was someone who wanted to share his own perspectives on society and have many people think what he thinks. For instance, he speaks with a man named Ronald Franz, whom he had taken care of Chris when he first met him on Chris’ journey to conquer nature. Chris explains, “Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, and make each day a new horizon.

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You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience” (Krakauer 57). To put it another way, Chris tells Ron that he shouldn’t have to be in one single place for the rest of his life, but instead Chris tells Ron that he should move about the world, and explore what he’s been missing out on. Besides this conversation, Chris seems to be a man with a mind set to being a person with great knowledge on the outside world. But because of his lack of conformity to society, this is one reason why Chris faced his decease in the wilderness.

Second, Chris never gave up on his own spirits for adventure. Since he was young, Chris had demonstrated to his father that he was very exploratory to travel long distances. But as an old saying goes, curiosity kills the cat. Chris didn’t think far ahead enough to come to understand the troubles that awaited him before and during his trip to the wilderness. Speaking about this, a long-short story called To Build a Fire by Jack London had a man that from his own adventurous overlooks, have brought him down to a certain point in which he could not go back the way he used to be. The long-short story tells, “To build a fire he had been forced to remove his mittens, and the fingers had quickly gone numb…a certain fear of death, dull and oppressive, came to him. This fear quickly became poignant as he realized that it was no longer a mere matter of freezing his fingers and toes, or of losing his hands and feet, but that it was a matter of life and death the chances against him” (London 7, 12). From this quote, we can clearly see that the man was too adventurous enough to mislead him to a level of panic and unconsciousness. Same thing happened with Chris but in a way that left him starving to death. However, Chris had this philosophy that he also explained to Ronald about. He states that, “The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun” (Krakauer 57). Above all, Chris had kept this idea as a key guide to lifting his spirits of adventure that enable him to keep going with his plans to conquer nature. It’s a shame that Chris never took that many precautions and just left himself out there to die off.

Last, Chris was a guy who deeply enjoyed freedom just like many of us. But his freedom meant that he could literally do what ever he wanted to do without any strict rules or anything like that. But from gaining freedom from what he wants, he’s become as lazy as a man would leave his car unlocked and open. He states in a film about Into the Wild, “Just on my own. You know, no fucking watch, no map, no axe, no nothing. No nothing. Just be out there in it. You know, big mountains, rivers, sky, and game. Just be out there in it, you know? In the wild”(film). More importantly, this quote depicts Chris’ lack of importance about what he’s preparing for. This just goes to show that Chris wants freedom, but in a fashion not found anywhere else. Regarding this quote, there was also a man named Scott in an article called Amundsen Schlepped Here by Mark Jenkins, who like Chris, was unwilling to put in any effort to prepare himself for a long and hard quest through the arctic. The article clearly explained about Scott’s personality, saying that he was “a rigid officer and obdurate romantic who failed to understand that the strategies of travel and survival developed by the Inuit were the keys to success” (Jenkins 2). Even more, the rest of the article went on to say about his death during his trip. Just like he died from the lack of preparing, Chris died the same way, only because of his way with freedom.

In any case, all of what we have acquired about Chris leads up to one thing. Chris McCandless was an unconventional thinker, had the spirits of adventure, and enjoyed freedom, and we must blame Chris’ own hubris for leading him to his own demise. Many people in society have said that Chris was nothing but another weirdo. Few have claimed that he was a man with ideas beyond of what we could’ve ever thought of. I believe that if Chris would’ve thought better, even though he really was a smart guy, he would’ve have ended up in the middle of nature dead from starvation. But yet again, the feeling of doing something that no one else could do is a feeling that is not commonly found in many people. Again, there is no man or woman that can do everything, so if you were someone like Chris McCandless, would you do the same that he tried to do, or would you take your paths to a different direction and really think about it?

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