One of my favorite quotes from McCandless happens in the very first part of the book. Krakauer is narrating about an encounter that Jim Gallien had with McCandless right before McCandless left on his Alaskan adventure never to be seen alive again. Gallien was asking McCandless some simple questions about...
One of my favorite quotes from McCandless happens in the very first part of the book. Krakauer is narrating about an encounter that Jim Gallien had with McCandless right before McCandless left on his Alaskan adventure never to be seen alive again. Gallien was asking McCandless some simple questions about how prepared he would need to be, and Gallien asked McCandless about a hunting license. McCandless's response clearly shows him as a rebel against the government because he doesn't like anybody putting rules on him.
“No, thanks anyway,” Alex replied, “I’ll be fine with what I’ve got.”
Gallien asked whether he had a hunting license.
“Hell, no,” Alex scoffed. “How I feed myself is none of the government’s business. Fuck their stupid rules.”
I think it also has to be said that McCandless's rebellious nature might simply be a part of genetic coding. Some readers might say that McCandless wasn't a rebel until he discovered his dad's infidelity, but McCandless's third grade teacher tells a different story.
His teacher pulled us aside and told us that ‘Chris marches to a different drummer.’
The drummer that McCandless hears is himself, and he does things his own way because he either likes it that way or does it his own way simply in order to not be a rule follower. This is why McCandless got an F on a lab report in school. He simply thought the formatting rule was stupid and therefore should be ignored.
Chris thought it was a stupid rule and decided to ignore it.
McCandless might be a rebel for no other reason than he wants to be his own person, and doing what everybody else is supposed to do doesn't allow him to be his own person.
A gifted French-horn player, as a teen he was a member of the American University Symphony but quit, according to Walt, after objecting to rules imposed by a high school band leader. Carine recalls that there was more to it than that: “He quit playing partly because he didn’t like being told what to do but also because of me. I wanted to be like Chris, so I started to play French horn, too. And it turned out to be the one thing I was better at than he was. When I was a freshman and he was a senior, I made first chair in the senior band, and there was no way he was going to sit behind his damn sister.”