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What did McCandless expect this "greatest adventure" to accomplish?

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britt92 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 31, 2009 at 11:37 AM via web

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What did McCandless expect this "greatest adventure" to accomplish?

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dneshan | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted June 7, 2009 at 9:08 AM (Answer #1)

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Because the novel is written in third person point of view, the reader can only make assumptions of what McCandless expected to accomplish on his adventure "into the wild".  Through his journal writings and the interviews that Krakauer makes reference to, it is clear that McCandless was or was trying to become a transcendentalist like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, for example.  A transcendentalist looks to transcend himself through nature and to become one with it, using everything that the land has to offer.  In doing this, a person would be able to live a peaceful and spiritual life relying on nothing but himself and nature.  It seems that this is what Chris was after.  If you look at his family history, it is clear that Chris was not happy with his life or his parents and he wanted to break free from the materialistic and self-centered people that he was surrounded by.  This seems to have been what he expected to accomplish.

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