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Why did Chris McCandless go into the wild?i have some general ideas of why Chris...

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mayumi219 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 7, 2010 at 10:42 AM via web

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Why did Chris McCandless go into the wild?

i have some general ideas of why Chris decided to go into the wild.

He was young, wanted adventure.

He wanted to get away from materialistic things.

Do you guys help me with more detailed reasons?

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

Posted November 8, 2010 at 11:23 PM (Answer #1)

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According to a letter he wrote to Ron Franz, Chris McCandless believed that true happiness comes from experiencing new things.  He says that

...there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.  If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy.

Chris believed that he had to abandon the constraints of society and civilization in order to truly experience the beauty of life. 

Chris McCandless also romanticized survival in the wilderness.  He felt that shedding his reliance on money and material possessions would in some way bring him closer to nature and a sense of purity and freedom that were impossible while following the expectation of the world.  This sensibility (or lack of sense) was fed by McCandless's love of a Tolstoyan way of thinking.  He internalized the writings of Tolstoy, Thoreau, and others.

McCandless simply could not accept the world he lived in.  He felt he had been mistreated by those he loved, whether justly or not, and could not understand what he perceived to be cruelty.  He also could not fathom human desire for "things" when there was a lack of motivation to attain what he believed truly mattered:  purity, beauty, joy, etc.

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