Chris McCandless Transcendentalism

Into the Wild

Into the Wild was written in 1996 by Jon Krakauer. The story revolves around a young man named Chris McCandless who takes a long, treacherous journey into the wild. Throughout this journey Chris realizes that life is so much more than what people think. His goal is to prove people wrong and show them that he can survive off of nature and get to his destination, Alaska. Along the way learns to connect with nature and he finds his true self. He does come upon many obstacles that almost cost him his life, but every step of the way he learns to enjoy it. It's like a never ending adrenalin rush. Chris went into the wild to make a point, and although the outcome wasn't to good, he sure did make his point.

More about Chris McCandless

Chris McCandless was born on February 12, 1968 in El Segundo, California. He lived with his father, Walt McCandless, mother, Wilhemina McCandless (Billie), and his sister, Carine. His family home was not all love and happiness. There were incidences where his father would get violent, towards his mother, and the children witnessed it. However, Chris was a hard working kid he strived for the best and pushed himself to do better. He was a very bright student who maintained an A, and he was very active in sports and school activities. He finished high school and went on to graduate college. It was after this, at the age of 24, that Chris decided he was going on a journey to live in the wild. He donated all of his money and headed into the wild. Chris loved being out in nature by himself, however he did meet a few people along the way that helped him survive. He was a very personable guy, due to this multiple people were attracted to him. Without the help of these people Chris might not of lasted as long as he did. Throughout this long journey Chris lost connection with his mother and father, they were not the type of people he strived to be. Overall Chris had a set of morals that he stuck to. He was not a materialistic guy, and being out in the wild gave him all the pleasure that he needed. This journey allowed him to grow and learn more about this beautiful world. Chris McCandless is the prime example of a transcendentalist because he felt as though nature provides everything necessary to live.

What is Transcendentalism?





Transcendentalism- an idealistic philosophical and social movement that developed in New England around 1836 in reaction to rationalism. It taught that divinity pervades all nature and humanity, and its members held progressive views on feminism and communal living. It is the understanding of nature in reality.

Examples of Transcendentalism:

  • Nature: "In the presence of nature a wild delight runs through the man in spite of real sorrows."
  • Self-Reliance: "A man should learn to detect and watch that glean of light which f;ashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages."
  • Civil Disobedience: "Let every man make known what kind of government would command his respect, and that will be one step toward obtaining it."
  • Much Madness is Divinest Sense: "Demur- You're straightway dangerous."
  • When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer: "In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, Look'd up in the perfect silence at the stars."

Create your own path


Created with images by lina - "winter snow tree" • Jonas B - "Mountains" • PhotoHenning - "The River" • LubosHouska - "fallow deer dama dama male" • Shingo_Nono - "sunset sun landscape" • Madeleine_H - "The replica of the school bus that Chris McCandless lived in, this one was used for the filming of Into the Wild"

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