What is the central conflict and how is it resolved?

Asked on by ber1021

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

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I suppose one could argue that the conflict is between Chris McCandless and his family or society at large, as he was estranged from his family and very disillusioned with society in general but, to me, the central conflict is actually between McCandless and nature.

Inspired by the likes of writer Jack London, McCandless burned his remaining money, his driver's license, and abandoned his car to venture north towards Alaska, supposedly to live out his dream of getting back to the land.  He goes there alone, and wanders off (woefully unprepared) into the Alaskan wilderness before the onset of a typical winter there.

The resolution of this central conflict is that nature humbles McCandless.  It corrects his arrogance, and in the end, kills him.

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