In Into the Wild, how does Chris McCandless isolate himself from his friends?

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Chris McCandless isolated himself from his friends through a conscious policy of severing those relationships and moving on regularly.

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It is clear that Chris was able to develop friendships easily as he travelled around, but also when he was at college. However, the way in which he ended those friendships was through constant moving and a refusal to pursue them any further. His goal was always to go "into the wild," in Alaska, and he clearly felt that relationships would be something that could hamper him as he pursued that goal, rather than something that would be a help and a support. Note, for example, how he severs his relationships with Westerburg as he goes to Alaska with the following message:

Please return all mail I receive to the sender. It might be a very long time before I return South. If this adventure proves fatal and you don't ever hear from me again, I want you to know you're a great man.

In the same way, Chris sent a card to Jan Burres and Bob with a similar message:

This is the last communication you shall receive from me. I now walk out to live amonst the wild. Take care, it was great knowing you.

Chris therefore isolated himself from his friends through a conscious policy of severing those relationships and moving on regularly. Even though in all of his significant friendships he had managed to develop a meaningful and deep relationship, where he both cared for others and others cared for him deeply, it is clear that his focus on the Emersonian ideal of self-reliance and independence meant that he felt he had to sever those links in order to be truly successful in his quest of going to Alaska and living independently.

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From Into the Wild, does Chris McCandless isolate himself from his family, friends, and common sense?

Despite Chris's real intention, to find himself and return home, his attitudes and methods were deliberately isolationist; he refused shows of affection from friends and did not contact his family, causing them great pain. However, he did keep in contact with friends he met on the road, usually through postcards. Chris, because of his quest for self-understanding, deliberately avoided anything that might lead to "settling down," instead preferring to pass through people's lives. This is seen most clearly in his interactions with Ron Franz, who became entirely enamored with Chris, and had his offer of deeper friendship rebuffed.

At one point Franz dared to make a special request of McCandless. "My mother was an only child," he explains. "So was my father. And I was their only child. Now that my own boy's dead, I'm the end of the line. When I'm gone, my family will be finished, gone forever. So I asked [Chris] if I could adopt him, if he would be my grandson."

McCandless, uncomfortable with the request, dodged the question: "We'll talk about it when I get back from Alaska, Ron."
(Krakauer, Into the Wild,

This shows how Chris avoided getting bogged down in personal relationships; while he valued the company of others, he didn't want to be tied to them.

The other issue, that of "isolating himself from common sense," is harder to answer. While Chris certainly made many mistakes, some of which led to his death, it's hard to say if the cause was simply Chris not thinking about consequences, or if he truly thought he was capable of living in the wilderness. In fact, Chris did survive well for several months, and it was only his lack of woodcraft knowledge that eventually tripped him up. While it could be said that Chris's refusal -- or misunderstanding -- to properly prepare himself for the Alaskan wilderness lacked common sense, it could also be said that Chris wanted to experience the natural world without the cynicism of knowledge. This may or may not be a negative. In the book, Krakauer talks through various arguments, and never really reaches a definitive conclusion.

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