Transcendentalist Mccandless Essay

1021 WordsApr 29, 20135 Pages
Transcendentalist McCandless What is transcendentalism? How is Christopher J. McCandless a transcendentalist? Transcendentalism is a philosophy, and a way of life. It consists of being a non-conformist, becoming one with nature, and rejecting materialism. Throughout Jon Krakauer’s novel, Into The Wild, McCandless happens to achieve all of the above. “Whoso would be a man, must be a non-conformist” (Emerson). He defied society, lived in the wild, and never cared about “things”. He existed off the land in Alaska, the west coast, and even Mexico. McCandless did not want anything else in life but happiness; he found this in the wilderness. As Emerson states in Self-Reliance, “society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood…show more content…
Throughout the novel, it is evident that McCandless promotes becoming one with nature by talking about it with other employees when working at McDonald’s, writing about it in a letter to Ronald Franz, and writing about it in other letters as well. For example, in a letter McCandless wrote to Ronald Franz, he talks about becoming one with nature. He pressures how Franz should life his life. McCandless states, “you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of...Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon” (57). McCandless not only wants a life in the wild, he is also trying to spread the wilderness lifestyle to Franz. Likewise, while McCandless was employed at Bullhead’s McDonalds, he tends to talk about becoming one with nature. Other employees could tell that he loved nature by spending very little time with him. Lori Zarza, the second assistant manager of the McDonald’s, states that, “he was always going on about trees and nature and weird stuff like that” (40). McCandless was infatuated over the idea of living in the wild. Moreover, in another letter that McCandless wrote, he talks about how nature has transformed him. McCandless states, “The beauty of this country is becoming part of me” (91). He is absorbing the country; it is changing the way he looks at life. McCandless can only fixate on becoming one with nature
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