Chris is a strong-willed, charismatic character. He is a young person with decided opinions and heartfelt convictions, who has been heavily influenced by anti-establishment, idealistic thinkers such as Thoreau and Tolstoy. Chris is the type of person who acts decisively but without necessarily thinking through the consequences of his actions. Late in the story, for example, he heads out for the Alaskan wilderness having thought through some, but not all, of the dangers.
Chris is a person of strong passions. If he likes you, he pours himself out generously and makes himself very likable. If he doesn't like you, he cuts you off completely and coldly—as he does with his parents, revealing little sensitivity about how much worry or pain he might be causing them. He tends to feel he knows he is right and has no problem lecturing much older people on how they should be living their lives.
Chris's personality is a mix of heady, enthusiastic optimism and a full embrace of "sucking the marrow" out of life. As he is dying, he journals with mature wisdom, generosity, and acceptance. He also displays youthful impulsiveness, a risk-taking mentality, and withering judgments of those, like his father, who are materialistic and do not think as he does.