From Into the Wild, what were Chris McCandless's main ideals?

Expert Answers info

thetall eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2014

write1,737 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Chris McCandless believed in transcendentalism, as demonstrated by his ideas, thoughts, and actions. He was greatly influenced by Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom he referenced a number of times in his journal. Thoreau and Emerson were both transcendentalists, and Chris sought to emulate their idealistic lifestyles. The basic principle of transcendentalism is the pursuit of truth through communicating with nature and finding oneself. McCandless loved to be alone with nature, as witnessed in his adventure to Alaska, as well as in several previous trips.

McCandless believed in independence and nonconformity and that evil accompanies materialism. For this reason, he abandoned all aspects of modern life, cut off communication with family, disposed of all his money and possessions, and ventured into the wilderness, believing himself capable of self-sustenance. Unfortunately, his very beliefs caused him to venture out ill-prepared, and he died of...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 525 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jessica Gardner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write140 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Science

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

belarafon eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write2,867 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History


check Approved by eNotes Editorial


mminor15925 | Student

Can you simplify this please?

check Approved by eNotes Editorial