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How does the self-imposed isolation of Chris McCandless lead to his demise in Into the...

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susank7780 | Student, Grade 11 | Salutatorian

Posted February 24, 2013 at 5:18 AM via web

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How does the self-imposed isolation of Chris McCandless lead to his demise in Into the Wild?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 24, 2013 at 9:48 AM (Answer #1)

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Chris McCandless, by determining to go into the Alaskan wilderness by himself with minimal supplies and without certain equipment that was considered to be essential by seasoned Alaskan hunters, deliberately placed himself in danger. What adds greatly to this self-endangerment is that he chose to do this alone, deliberately cutting himself away from both his friends and family. Krakauer explores at great length the motive that caused Chris to do this, and comes up with the following solution: Chris chose to isolate himself and to enter the wilderness alone to explore his own spiritual soul. For those who are tempted to dismiss him as a deluded, arrogant young man who has insufficient respect for nature, Krakauer offers the following words:

McCandless wasn't some feckless slacker, adrift and confused, racked by existential despair. To the contrary: His life hummed with meaning and purpose. But the meaning he wrested from existence lay beyond the comfortable path: McCandless distrusted the value of things that came easily. He demanded much of himself--more, in the end, than he could deliver.

The self-imposed isolation of Chris therefore led to his death because he was literally stuck in the wilderness by himself. The presence of somebody else would have helped him in so many ways, as both could have worked together to support each other and to help each other. The old adage "Two heads are better than one" is particularly true in this case. Cutting himself away from everybody else was one major factor that contributed to his tragic and early demise. In the end, by determining to go it alone, Chris built the foundation of his own destruction.

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