Chris Krakauer 's Non Fiction Book Into The Wild

1515 Words May 31st, 2016 7 Pages
Imagine this: a young adult vanishes without a trace to venture off into the wild and “discover” himself. With the bearings of a modern-day bildungsroman, such a story may not seem uncommon; after all, young adult novels and films have both glorified and censured the youthful adventure tale, perpetuating an image of adolescents (particularly young males) as courageous yet foolhardy individuals who adamantly desire self-discovery. Such depictions may not be far from reality, as demonstrated by the story of Chris McCandless in Jon Krakauer’s non-fiction book Into the Wild. Krakauer presents a relatively objective account of 24-year-old McCandless’s brief sojourn in the Alaskan wilderness and the events leading to his death, offering opinions from individuals who criticized the young man’s arrogance and foolhardiness as well as those who extolled McCandless as a noble, brave hero. To establish an extreme and unyielding stance on Chris McCandless – viewing him as either a righteous idealist or an inexperienced dunderhead – would disregard McCandless’s nuanced personality and his sensitive familial circumstances. When one takes into account McCandless’s estrangement from his family and his worship of author Jack London’s The Call of the Wild, it becomes clear that while McCandless was an ignorant and overconfident hypocrite who was unable to survive in the wild, he genuinely adhered to his beliefs and was not wholly responsible for his own death. McCandless’s unusual family…
Open Document