What precisely was McCandless from Into the Wild?Use one of Krakauer's terms or using your own.

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scarletpimpernel's profile pic

scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Chris McCandless can be categorized as a Romantic. Krakauer describes McCandless as idolizing writers such as Thoreau and Emerson (Transcendentalists). However, McCandless does not share Thoreau's and Emerson's optimistic view of human nature (consider how he viewed his parents and many other humans with whom he came in contact).

American Romanticism emphasizes the purity of nature and its power to teach humans life lessons. McCandless certainly demonstrates this quality. Not only did he want to go into the Alaskan wilderness to test himself, but according to Krakauer, he also showed a desire to want to learn as much as he could from the wilderness. Similarly, Romantics believe in the power of the individual, and McCandless--on numerous occasions--proved that he wanted to "go it alone." At times, he accepted help from others, but apparently did so only to be able to achieve his goal of entering the wild by himself. He truly seemed to believe that he would be able to conquer nature.

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rmccombs87 | (Level 1) eNoter

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Christopher McCandless, the main protagonist of Jon Krakauer' book "Into the Wild" was described by the author as an "innocent" and "ascetic".

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