Transcendentalism is a literary uprising that branches off of the Romanticism movement. The overall theme of transcendentalism is that man is inferior and nature holds the answers to all of life's problems only if you individually examine it. "Into The Wild" can easily be classified as a piece of modern transcendentalism because it revolves around the concept of self discovery and conquering an obstacle that is beyond one's power. McCandless's mission throughout the novel is to go against the status quo and follow his own intuitive without social pressures, which is exactly what transcendentalism is based upon.
Throughout "Into the Wild," the author points out that Chris McCandless enjoyed reading several types of literature. All these pieces somehow related to transcendentalism. Chris was an advocate of many authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.
"Nature" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"He wasn't antisocial-- he always had friends, and everybody liked him-- but he could go off and entertain himself for hours. He didn't seem to need toys or friends. He could be alone without being lonely."
"Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
"He said it was something he wanted to do since he was little," says Stuckey. "Said he didn't want to see a single person, no airplanes, no sign of civilization. He wanted to prove to himself that he could make it on his own, without anybody's help."
"Civil Disobedience" by Henry David Thoreau
"Much Madness is divinest Sense" by Emily Dickinson
"When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer" by Walt Whitman
Alex answered calmly that no, nobody knew of his plans, that in fact he hadn't spoke to his family in nearly two years. "I'm absolutely positive," he assured Gallien, "I won't run into anything I can't deal with on my own."
"Walden" by Henry David Thoreau
Chris McCandless's sister, Carine, often talks about her brother Chris and his life. Sometimes she even opens up about the experiences of her childhood and what could have possibly led Chris up to his breaking point. She agrees to do seminars on TV shows and public speaks to audiences willing to hear her story. In the videos listed below, she covers her emotions and perspective on the events of her brother's journey.
Chris McCandless's death has been a controversial topic since the day he was discovered motionless in his camp. The article below focuses on the plausible explanations and opinions on what exactly ended Chris's life.
Please return all mail I receive to the sender. It might be a very long time before I return South. If this adventure proves fatal and you don't ever hear from me again I want you to know that you're a great man. I now walk into the wild. Alex.