Should Chris have gone into the wild?why or why not;& what reasons would he have for doing what he did?

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brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

From what perspective?  From a common sense one?  Then no way he should have gone into the wild.  He wasn't the least bit prepared for an Alaskan winter.  I was actually angry at him when I was reading the book, because he was obviously an intelligent young man, but seemed so blazingly stupid about what he was trying to do.  In putting himself in harm's way like that, he ignored the fact that so many people and his own family cared about him.  I had a hard time with that.

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

Posted on

In my opinion, Chris should have gone into the wild.  He was extremely driven to do just that, so he would not have realized any true peace until he had done so.  However, Chris did not prepare himself as he should have for his trip into the wilderness of Alaska.  He should have taken care to become familiar with the area he chose to venture into, as well as to stock himself with an amount of food and other supplies sufficient to ensure his survival should he find himself in unfortunate circumstances, which he did.  Chris chose to ignore the ready availability of information (maps of the park, etc.) that would have saved his life; had he not been so egotistical, he would not have chosen to ignore valuable information based on its having come from a society he despised.

Chris felt that he had to live in the wild in order to escape what he considered to be a diseased society.  He did not respect humanity or much of anything related to it.  Basically, Chris needed to learn who he was and be able to forgive his family for having hurt him, as well as to decide where he fit in the the big picture of his family and his world.  In his mind, Chris believed that the answer to all of his problems could be found in living free of his fellow man.

tradecraft's profile pic

tradecraft | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

No, Chris should have NOT gone in the the wild.

McCandless was infatuated with the idea of turning his back on society and living the "romantic" life of an adventurer. His goal was to flip his middle finger at society and live according to his own rules. This is okay if you have the skill set to survive. Unfortunately, he was ill prepared and paid the ultimate price. McCandless was a young, overconfident, immature, private, idealistic person who lacked common sense, proper planning and preparation.

In the end there is nothing special about McCandless which would warrant that he be glorified in any manner. He wasted a brilliant future because he was not able to fit into societal norms. He failed to properly plan his trip and instead chose to live by the seat of his pants which proved fatal. He was successful for a while but nature eventually caught up with him. One would expect that if you venture into such an environment as McCandless did with little training, planning, preparation and gear that you would end up dead. I'm sure this story can be repeated over and over but it would not be worthy of a book. If anything this book will reinforce the need to be properly trained and prepared before venturing - into the wild.

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