What was the importance of the authors Jack London, Leo Tolstoy and Henry David Thoreau for Chris McCandless from Into the Wild?

Expert Answers info

D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write9,734 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

London, Thoreau, and Tolstoy all wrote books and lived in ways that questioned a complacent and materialistic middle-class existence. Reading these authors intently in college and on his own travels helped form and guide McCandless as he sought to forge an alternative lifestyle to that of his affluent parents.

London, a socialist and wanderer, lived and worked among the poor and lower classes and identified with their plight. He tramped for a time, as did McCandless. McCandless, like London, sought out and identified with marginalized people living on the social fringes.

McCandless was also taken with Thoreau, who was determined to "front life" and not die without having really lived. Thoreau wanted to strip life down to its essentials and see what he could learn by doing so. This...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 458 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


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


claire0130 | Student

They all supported McCandless's passion to live a lifestyle of freedom and complete self reliance.  They glorified nature and put almost in the place of a religion.  They were all famous transcendentalists.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial