The American Dream In Jon Krakauer's Into The Wild

Decent Essays

The major tenets of the quintessential American dream can be found in the ideology of every person “proud to be an American.” The America seen today is not the same as it was 50 years prior, so how can one expect the central “dream” to be the same? In fact, each person has developed an opinion on what the American dream may mean for him/her. For one, the dream may still be the white picket fence still life from so many years ago, but for another, it may be the accumulation of riches and fame. In Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, he shows us that Chris McCandless cared not for the quotidian rat-race he had grown so accustomed to, but more for the intricacies that the natural world had to offer. I believe that although Chris McCandless may not have made it out of Alaska alive, he still succeeded in discovering what he went there for, and in turn died fulfilling his own American dream.
The dictionary defines the American dream as “the ideals of freedom, equality, and opportunity traditionally held to be available to every American.” Chris McCandless came from a wealthy family with everything he could ever need being provided for him. His parents had achieved the conventional American dream. They had enough money to provide for their family and then some, a nice home, and a good education for the whole family. To the outsider looking in, it would be easy to assume that Chris McCandless had a perfect life full of everything he desired and unrelenting happiness. This was not the case.

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