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What parts of transcendentalism did Chris use in his life in "Into the Wild"?

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mburns23 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 9, 2009 at 9:32 AM via web

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What parts of transcendentalism did Chris use in his life in "Into the Wild"?

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

Posted June 9, 2009 at 7:06 PM (Answer #1)

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One of the keys pieces in the philosophic idea of transcendentalism is the person’s believe that through a strong relationship with nature, one can transcend himself / herself.  This is completely evident in Chris’ journey.  He relied on nature (at times) almost 100% and it seems that when successful the relationship that he created with nature helped him feel more spiritual, and closer to both himself and the world around him.  A second major part of transcendentalism is simplicity and this was also an important part in Chris’ world.  No matter where he was throughout his journey, he always believed that life was best led in its simplest form.  Examples of Chris’ simplicity include giving all of his money to charity, ripping up his credit cards, ditching his car and not getting another one, living a nomadic lifestyle, etc.  Finally, a defiance toward society was evident in Chris’ lifestyle.  He refused to conform to what society told him was normal.  He refused to wear socks to work and did not care when he was told that he could not use a canoe.

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