Chris McCandless was much influenced by Thoreau. As Thoreau does in Walden, Chris wanted to "front life" and "suck the marrow" from it, not, on his deathbed, realize he had never really lived. Therefore, like Thoreau, he simplifies his life as much as possible so that he can see clearly what is important and not be weighted down by externals.
Second, influenced by his readings of Tolstoy and Thoreau, one of Chris's goals was sexual and moral purity. He goes to Alaska, for example, in part to purify himself. Krakauer writes:
Chastity and moral purity were qualities McCandless mulled over long and often. Indeed, one of the books found in the bus with his remains was a collection of stories that included Tolstoy’s “The Kreutzer Sonata,” in which the nobleman-turned-ascetic denounces “the demands of the flesh.” Several such passages are starred and highlighted in the dog-eared text.
Third, McCandless wanted to escape his...
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