What did McCandless expect this "greatest adventure" to accomplish?

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dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Because the novel is written in third person point of view, the reader can only make assumptions of what McCandless expected to accomplish on his adventure "into the wild".  Through his journal writings and the interviews that Krakauer makes reference to, it is clear that McCandless was or was trying to become a transcendentalist like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, for example.  A transcendentalist looks to transcend himself through nature and to become one with it, using everything that the land has to offer.  In doing this, a person would be able to live a peaceful and spiritual life relying on nothing but himself and nature.  It seems that this is what Chris was after.  If you look at his family history, it is clear that Chris was not happy with his life or his parents and he wanted to break free from the materialistic and self-centered people that he was surrounded by.  This seems to have been what he expected to accomplish.

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Into the Wild

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