The Character of Chris McCandless in Jon Krakauer’s, Into the Wild

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The appeal of being a coward is the opposite of being an adventurous, free-spirited young man; both behaviors contradict each other. Nevertheless, an individual with both characteristics can be identified in Jon Krakauer’s, Into the Wild. Christopher McCandless has a sublime life, until he decides to abandon his standard of living and isolate himself in order to endure a risky life-taking adventure. One may consider McCandless as an adventurer for challenging himself and living off the land, but still others consider him to be a coward for turning his back on his problems. McCandless’ actions cannot be characterized to one specific behavior, due to the fact that throughout his journey he is a well-rounded character.
The relationship
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Nor could anyone in his family have foreseen that a chance discovery during this initial journey would ultimately turn him inward and away, drawing Chris and those who loved him into a morass of anger, misunderstanding, and sorrow.” (116) Instead of trying to work out issues with his family, McCandless turns the other way and leaves his problems behind. He leaves his parents feeling remorseful about not spending enough time with him when he was younger. It is undeserved for a parent to have to live everyday feeling regretful due to their son’s faint-hearted negligence. His decision to completely leave his family without a word is not right, hence him being a coward.
While being a cowardly individual, McCandless was also adventurous. He did not abandon his lifestyle solely to hurt his family, but to reconnoiter himself within, “McCandless [goes] into the wilderness not primarily to ponder nature or the world at large, but rather, to explore the inner country of his own soul.” (183) As a result of his admiration towards Henry David Thoreau, McCandless pursues wildlife from a diverse perspective than other individuals of his generation. By finding enough confidence in himself and nature, he prepares himself by means of only carrying nature books and an inadequate quantity of nourishment, mainly rice. He does
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