Was Chris McCandless a Transcendentalism?

1099 WordsJan 27, 20184 Pages
What does it take for someone to be considered a transcendentalist? Can someone be a transcendentalist if they do not mean to be one? In the life of Chris McCandless, many transcendental aspects are exhibited, such as nonconformity and self-reliance, but experts and readers are left wondering whether or not to consider him a transcendentalist. McCandless exhibits these traits willingly, which leads most readers to call him a transcendentalist. Chris McCandless is a transcendentalist because he knowingly follows the transcendental tenets and is heavily influenced by the works of the transcendentalists before him. Examples of the tenets that he follows are nonconformity, love and treasury of nature, self-reliance and free thought. McCandless exhibits the transcendental tenet of nonconformity in his actions throughout his journey. First, McCandless did not connect with society, because he hated that people were left to die. He believed in equality, a transcendental ideal, so when his car broke down on his road trip to Alaska “he abandoned it in the Arizona desert” (4). He then proceeded “to bury most of his worldly possessions in the parched earth of Detrital Wash and then ... burned his last remaining cash” (4). These acts signify that he refuses to be materialistic and conform to society standards, but he chooses to live by his own morals. Second, in the movie, McCandless visits a bar with his coworkers where he explains his dislike of society. He says, “Society, man! You
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