In what ways could Chris McCandless be considered rebellious?

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sciftw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chris McCandless could be considered a rebel because he chose to live a solitary life.  You don't have to break laws to be a rebel.  Being rebellious can come down to going against societal norms.  McCandless most definitely did that.  I like my alone time for sure,  ss do a lot of people, but what McCandless did by eschewing almost all human to human contact for weeks and months at a time is definitely rebelling against the norm.  

McCandless did break laws though too in his travels.  I'm sure he broke some minor laws here and there, but the book specifically mentions McCandless breaking federal laws.  For example, McCandless doesn't pay taxes, because he either doesn't fill out his tax forms or he falsifies information on them (including his name).  Another rebellious act of McCandless that goes against standard government rule is him intentionally not buying a hunting license for his travels in Alaska.  

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.”

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chris McCandless is the definition of rebellion.  His spiritual or emotional awakening, for lack of a better term, has led him to basically quit society.  He donates his college fund to OxFam, abandons his car, burns his money and ID cards, and turns into a wandering and completely independent man.  Can you think of anyone else who has ever done something similar, and in the mannerthat McCandless did?  Neither can I.

He liked to live off the land, or try to.  He liked to be adventurous for the sake of adventure.  He walks off into the Alaskan wilderness just before winter--into the wild, as it were--woefully unprepared for what he is about to face, and this unpreparedness is, in the end, what kills him.  So, in short, there is rebellion in almost everything he does.

Read the study guide:
Into the Wild

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