Trancendentalism in The Call of the Wild, by Jack London and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

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This need for transcendentality is real and strong, especially in the two novels The Call of the Wild, by Jack London and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. Transcendentalism is the belief that thought and spiritual experience is more important than everyday experiences and material belongings. The main character in the call of the wild is buck, a dog forced into trancendality as he was kidnapped and handed a brutal northern life. The main character in Into the wild is Chris McCandless, a young man who chooses the call of nature over modern society, also demonstrating transcendentalism. The protagonists, Chris McCandless and Buck, exhibit their transcendentality in conflicting yet converging ways including the specific occurrences which…show more content…
Chris goes to live in alaska in a final attempt to purify his ideological views by indulging in nature and spurning society. The transformation in Buck caused by his transcendental turn is almost totally positive. At the beginning of the novel he was soft, pampered, and mentally inactive. The Big Read, an internet site which provides a wonderful overview of The Call of the Wild, brings to light,”In addition to cunning, patience, and strength, Buck’s greatest quality allows him to fight by both cunning and insight.” (Call of the Wild 1). With this newfound ability to fight and evade tough situations, Buck buys the time to learn the ways of the north completely, eventually surpassing the dogs around him. The only negative effect this had on Buck was that his moral nature quickly deteriorated. This was necessary. Without the ability to be transcendental, Buck could not have survived his new environment. Chris McCandless’s transcendental experience was both positive and negative depending on which party is being asked. Chris believed that his experience as a whole was unsurpassable to an extent, that is until he realized his end fate. Chris left society on his own accord, and so he expectedly was ecstatic to be in the wild. However, the friends, family and acquaintances who had met Chris try to find reason in this apparently unnecessary death such as this justification from the novel, “Danger has always held

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