Into the Wild: Into the Wild is an 1996 biography outlining the life and adventures Christopher McCandless, also know as Alex McCandless, or Alexander Supertramp, who set out on a three year journey of hitchhiking across the U.S. McCandless's journey eventually led him to the Alaskan bush, which led to his unfortunate demise at the age of 24. The book emphasizes on the idea that people like McCandless were much more common than the average person may be aware. The author, John Krakauer himself has had experience with this type of transcendental, self - discovery journey . Overall, Into the Wild speaks to dispel the critical reception of McCandless's death by the media, by making it seem that the seemingly outlandish death of McCandless, was actually a common occurrence that was not covered by the media in the past.
Transcendentalism: As defined by Merriam Webster's Dictionary, transcendentalism is: A philosophy that emphasizes the a priori conditions of knowledge and experience or the unknowable character of ultimate reality or that emphasizes the transcendent as the fundamental reality. In short, transcendentalism emphasizes personal knowledge and spiritual enlightenment as the priority of fulfilling one's true existence. McCandless, especially, believed that he could fulfill his life's journey by separating himself from society. This idea was a key focus of 19th century transcendentalism writers, especially Henry David Thoreau, who in his story Walden, travels into the wild to discover his true meaning. Thoreau was ironically, one of McCandless's favorite writers, so it seems logical that the apprentice would follow the lead of the master. Overall, though, McCandless, like many people, found refuge and peace in nature, and died at peace, feeling as if he had fulfilled his life's meaning.
"In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life,- no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature can not repair."- Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind."- Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Thus the State never intentionally confronts a man's sense, intellectual or moral, but only his body, his senses." - Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
"In this, as All, prevail-Assent-and you are sane-Demur-you're straightway dangerous-And handled with a chain."- Much Madness is divinest Sense by Emily Dickinson
"I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone."- Walden by Henry David Thoreau.
"Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself, In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.- When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer by Walt Whitman
20/20, 1997 special edition show documenting the life of Chris McCandless.