Was McCandless arrogant for going into the wild without proper equipment? Why or why not?Will someone please answer this for me?... PLEASE?

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justaguide's profile pic

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I do not think this was arrogance. Because if it does, doesn't it make each of us who isn't on the path more travelled, arrogant.

Doesn't life then have to be lived by each of us just the same way as the previous person.

But in a way, that is reality, that is how things have been done and will be done. Those who aren't a part of the crowd are either arrogant or dumb, aren't they?

accessteacher's profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think we need to be careful about associating "arrogance" with other negative qualities. Part of what we appreciate and admire about Chris McCandless is his desire to have a real adventure and live in nature without the help or distractions of the proper tools and equipment. He wanted to live by his wits alone and instinct, rather than through safety nets that he saw as interfering with man's relationship with nature.

brettd's profile pic

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

Posted on

Arrogant might be too strong a word, but a certain type and measure of arrogance, sure.  Maybe ignorance in terms of the situation he was putting himself into, and overconfidence in his ability to successfully live off the land for an entire winter.  The man who dropped him off at the trailhead knew exactly how foolish an act this was, and gave him the only equipment he had that might help.  He went anyway, despite the warnings. 

enotechris's profile pic

enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted on

"Arrogant" isn't quite the right word.  "Ignorant" may be more appropriate.  The irony is that even without the supplies and equipment he should have brought, her survived for as long as he did and was ready to return to civilization.  The tragedy is that the lack of that equipment and planning finally caught up with him and it cost him his life.

vbchic's profile pic

vbchic | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

i do not really think that chris was arrogant.  he wanted to live off the land without any "human" materials, he wanted to do it by nature.  he purposely lacked the equipment he needed to survive easily and healthily.  although this is not arrogant, it is not exactly smart.  he needed the materials to survive, and in the end, it cost him his life.  i believe what chris did was right and some one you can look up to, but he made many dumb mistakes.

hellfire's profile pic

hellfire | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I dont think he was arrogant. He wanted to live in the "wild". Just by giving his money to charity before leaving, he proved right there that he wanted to start everything from scratch and that he wanted his experience to be a surprise more than a planned trip.

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