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

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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 led him to live by Walden Pond and write about his experiences in Walden,  a book that influenced Chris as he...

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