In Into the Wild, why did Chris McCandless hate his parents?

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It's not so much that Chris hates his parents as that he hates the lifestyle they lead and the values they embody. Of course, he harbors a certain degree of resentment towards them for their keeping family secrets from him—it turns out that Chris was born out of wedlock, for instance—but that doesn't provide his main motivation for dropping out of society and heading north to Alaska.

Even if Chris's parents had clued him in on everything that went on in their lives, he still would've taken off. This is because they lead a lifestyle that he regards as phony and inauthentic. Their superficial attachment to the fruits of capitalism is something he finds positively soul-destroying. Chris's parents have come to represent the values of consumerist capitalism, and due to his sensitive, individualist nature, their son wants no part of this.

In heading out into the wild, Chris is effectively seeking to make good what he sees as the deficiencies of his upbringing. By reconnecting with nature,...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 810 words.)

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