Into the Wild: Searching

Into the Wild: Searching

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Into the Wild:  Searching      


Chris McCandless, the main character of Into the Wild, is searching for his true self.  His numerous tests of both his physical and mental abilities are proof of his determination.  He felt affected in his families presence so went on a road trip.  He was criticized by many for this, but who could stop him from discovering who he is.  It is clear from the novel that Chris’ relationship with his parents is not good.  He refuses gifts from them and then disappears.  He had instructed his family that he was not interested in giving or receiving gifts.  When his father offered to buy him a new car he became enraged.  He had a car and couldn’t understand why his father would buy him a new one.  Chris took the money that his family had left him for college and donated it to Oxfam which gives food to the hungry.  This is ironic because Chris eventually died from starvation.  Many people criticize McCandless for not keeping in touch with his parents and family.  Chris was 22 years old.  He did not have to tell his parents anything.  He was doing what he wanted, not what other people wanted him to do and he was happy.  They call him selfish for disregarding his parents’ feelings.  McCandless was living his life for himself.  He wanted to be happy and it happened to upset his parents.  Wanting your own happiness is not selfish it is your right.  I don’t think that McCandless was trying to upset his family, he was just trying to make himself happy by doing what he wanted to do. One of the reasons that I believe McCandless did not keep in contact with his parents while he kept in touch with those he met along the way is because he was afraid of disapproval.  His parents had never been to find of his “adventures” so he didn’t want to hear them voice their disapproval.  The people he met along the way may not have approved of his travels but they weren’t going to tell him not to do it.  McCandless needed these people.  He needed approval, because in his mind that gave him the ok to go ahead.

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  After all his main goal was to find himself.  If he had his parents disapproval hanging over him the entire time that would have proved difficult.  In the end McCandless found what he was looking for.  He found himself.  He tested his limits and unfortunately found out what they were.  Whether it was his intent to test his limits to the end like he did is unknown.  He had escaped his parents grasp and discovered his own personality, One that was not driven by others needs or responsibilities.  It was his true self.
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