A summary of Into The Wild
Through reading Into The Wilds, I have resented a lot of emotions mostly anger. I have never thought that such person would stand in greater instance in relationship to the environmental movement like McCandless until causing his own death. What sense then can we make of this tragedy, and I do believe the death of Chris McCandless was tragic. It is tragic because he confused isolation with solitude. If one seeks escape for its own sake and runs away from the world only because it is intensely unpleasant, then one will not find peace and one will not find solitude. Chris McCandless seemed to be running away, away from people, friends, institutions, and most significantly from living in right relationship with others. He began to turn away from friendships and companions, to espouse unpopular causes and to speak out at every opportunity against oppression and government intervention. He set out on a journey of self-discovery and independence by traveling to the deserts of many states . He walked away from the comfortable surroundings of his home, his family, and his friends, intending to live a solitary life in the desert because he determined that mainstream society does not hold a place for him. And him who went “into the wild” on a journey of self-discovery and illumination, was particularly unique in the attempt to find himself in the wilderness because even he abandon everything such as money clothers and more he realized that he needed those in the deserts in order to survive.
During his odyssey, McCandless met and lived with several people whom he considered to be friends. Although he rarely took their advice or accepted any material gifts from them, he seems to have left a lasting impression. To Ron he wrote the following: We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual life style and engage in unconventional living . . . you don’t need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light into your life . . . The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.” P57
McCandless believed absolutely in his own abilities to overcome anything and everything that life could throw at him. He possessed absolute confidence in himself. While it appeared that he had an active intellectual life, there seemed little room for the spiritual side of life. Living was a challenge to be met head on and only the strong would survive.