Please explain what the author means when he states that some consider CM's fatal odyssey was due to an unresolved Oedipal conflict. pg 184I don't understand how Oedipus's story has anything to do...

Please explain what the author means when he states that some consider CM's fatal odyssey was due to an unresolved Oedipal conflict. pg 184

I don't understand how Oedipus's story has anything to do with Chris McCandless's adventure.

Asked on by pohlbarr1

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copelmat | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Chris McCandless's relationship with his parents was strained to say the least. The details and background on their relationship isn't revealed in Into the Wild and the parents claim that they themselves do not understand the anger and resentment that Chris felt toward them.

Because there is so little known about the nature of this relationship the only conclusions that can be drawn about this idea as a source for Chris's behavior are highly speculative at best. Some have argued, however, that Chris's behavior is his attempt to "get back" at his father and the anger that Chris feels toward him for his previous marriage and the facade that the parents created in the family's "perfect life." Such an interpretation would fall under the broad umbrella of Oedipal conflict, which draws its name from Oedipus. Beyond that, however, there are no other connections between the stories of Chris McCandless and Oedipus.

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fix2fix2fix | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

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Both McCandless and Oedipus can be considered tragic heroes. They both cause their own downfall. Also, they both make important discoveries/revelations in the end of their journies. McCandless discovers that "Happiness is only real when it is shared," and Oedipus discovers the true identities of his parents.

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