In Into the Wild, what can be learned from Chris McCandless' story?

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Of course this question is going to receive a range of different responses, and I think it is testament to the incredible re-telling of the story of Chris McCandless in this novel that it is able to evoke so many different responses. My own feelings about the story of Chris McCandless are ones of sadness at the tragedy and the waste of his life. I feel very attracted to his personality and the way that he lived what he believed so defiantly, even up until his death, and I must admit that I admire the way he met his death as described in the last chapter of this account before the epilogue:

He is smiling in this picture, and there is no mistaking the look in his eyes: Chris McCandless was at peace, serene as a monk gone to God.

However, apart from the enlightenment that...

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