Christopher McCandless goes "Into The Wild" Transcendentalism

Summary of "Into The Wild"

"Into The Wild" is a nonfiction book that tells the story of Christopher McCandless's adventures into the wilderness. After graduating high school Chris spends his summer on a road trip by himself. The road trip helped him learn that his father had kept the secret of having a second family from him. Once he returns home he starts college at Emory. Chris cannot get over his father's secret and his anger grows worse. By the time he is a senior, Chris completely cuts off his family and friends. When Chris graduates he donates $25,000 of his savings anonymously to charity. Chris then gets into his car and drives away. He never contacts his parents or sister again. Chris's adventures lead him to meet several people and create several relationships. These people admire how Chris is living his life but he tries to avoid any intimacy. After a while of traveling, Chris decides to go to Alaska and truly submerge himself into the wilderness. He spends several weeks hunting, reading, writing, and living in a deserted bus. He is successful and makes a living out of it but loses a significant amount of weight. In late July, however, McCandless possibly ate some plants with mold. This then causes him to become very sick. He realizes he is going to die and writes a goodbye message. A few weeks later, his body is found by hunters in the abandoned bus.

Biography of Christoper McCandless

Christopher McCandless is a young man who is the son of Walt and Billie McCandless. He has a sister named Carine. Chris was never seen as an ordinary person. In high school Chris was intelligent and athletic although, he never had a sincere interest in school. Chris was always looking for something more. He did attend Emory University and graduated with high honors. After giving away his savings he assumed the name of Alexander Supertramp. His dream was the Alaskan adventure and he would tell this to those he met along the way. He took some small, odd jobs throughout the journey but never remained in the same place for too long. Chris finally reached his destination in 1992, Fairbanks, Alaska. Later, he died in an abandoned bus. He kept a journal along the way and took a few pictures of himself.

"Please return all mail I receive to the sender. It might be a very log time before I return South. If this adventure proves fatal and you don't ever hear from me again, I want you to know you're a great man. I now walk into the wild." (Into The Wild)

"A trancelike state settles over your efforts; the climb becomes a clear-eyed dream. Hours slide by like minutes. The accumulated clutter of day-to-day existence- the lapses of conscience, the unpaid bills, the bungled opportunities, the dust under the couch, the inescapable prison of your genes- all of it is temporarily forgotten, crowded from your thoughts by an overpowering clarity of purpose and by the seriousness of the task at hand." (Into The Wild)

"When I Heard The Learn'd Astronomer" by Walt Whitman

"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."

"MUch Madness" by Emily Dickinson

"In this, as all, prevail- Assent-and you are sane."

"Nature" by Ralph Emerson

"To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society."

"Civil Disobedience" by thoreau

"It was a closer view of my native town. I was fairly inside of it. I never had seen its institutions before. This is one of its peculiar institutions; for it is a shire town. I began to comprehend what its inhabitants were about."

"Self Reliance" by Ralph Emerson

"There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide."

"Walden" by Thoreau

"I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude."


Created with images by 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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