Many people are intrigued by movies, books, and TV. Shows about the various amazing adventures one can take on while living in the outdoors. This is verified in Jon Krakauers book Into the Wild when a young man from a wealthy family abandons his life by giving his twenty five thousand in savings to charity, ditches his car, burns all his cash, and hitchhikes to Alaska leaving everyone behind only to wonder what happened to him. People question the sanity of Chris and whether or not he was crazy or just a young man trying to find his true self. In order to figure out why he decided to do what he did we have to look at several different topics such as the grip wilderness has on the American imagination, the allure of high risk activities, and the thought process of many young adults including Chris. Krakauer shows that many young people are attracted to high risk activities because of the thrill of it, and this is evidenced through Chris McCandless.
Throughout into the wild it talks about the many adventures Chris was involved in and how he gets a sense of excitement out of them. Young or old people tend to get thrill out of risky adventures that could maybe turn fatal. When Jon Krakauer was getting ready to climb the Devils Thumb he went into details about how he might be getting in over his head but didnt care because that was the whole point. The author writes As I formulated my plan to climb the thumb, I was dimly aware that I might be getting in over my head. But that was only added to the schemes appeal. That it wouldnt be easy was the whole point. (135) Many people enjoy the thrill of knowing its a life or death situation more than the adventure itself and feed off the adrenaline. When people are out in the forest by themselves its usually to get away for a couple days or to experience what its like to live on their own, away from reality for a day without having things handed to them to eat or drink. On the other hand many people go off by themselves in order to figure out who they are without materialistic things in their lives. Chris McCandless writes I wanted movement and not a calm course of existence. I wanted excitement and danger and the chance to sacrifice myself for my love. I felt in myself a super abundance of energy which found no outlet in our quiet life. (15) People want thrill in their lives, they want excitement and in a usual life people tend to stress over money issues and things that do not exist in the wilderness. There are so many stressful things in todays world. In order for people to excel in life they need a good job to survive and when they are out on their own in the wilderness all the money issues disappear and they realize they dont need any money or materialistic things to survive. The outdoors provides people with certain things they need to know and allows them to spend time all to themselves providing them with the things that can help them become more independent.
Most young adults love the idea of living out in the wilderness with no one but themselves and the nature around them. To have no responsibilities or care in the world except for themselves would be many Americans dreams. In the development from a child to a teen is when many people realize their imagination is far off from reality. Chris realized his dreams and went forth with them. He turned his dream to a reality when he decided to abandon his old life and start a completely new one living in the wilderness. Many people have thought about taking on such a task as Chris did, but very few have had the mind set and the courage to actually go forth with their desire to be alone. According to Jim Gallien I figured hed be okay, he explains, I thought hed probably get hungry pretty quick and just walk out to the highway, thats what any normal person would do. (7) The fact that Chris wasnt normal was a huge factor in deciding how he was going to stay in the lifestyle he chose. Like Jim Gallien was talking about, a normal person probably wouldve given up if they got hungry, but Chris kept going and never had it in his mind to quit. In order to live in the wilderness you have to prepare yourself for the many bad things that could happen, and that is exactly what Chris did.
When people grow up they take on many responsibilities such as taking care of a growing family, paying mortgage on a house, buying a car, and the many other things people have to do to live comfortably in the world today. So many people focus on what kind of care the drive, how big of a house they own and how much money they have, Chris wanted the exact opposite of what most people want, independently living on his own in the wilderness with no ones help but his own. In the quote by Jon Krakauer he states, McCandless didnt perform particularly well to the bush casualty stereotype. Although he was rash, foolhardiness, he wasnt incompetent-he wouldnt have lasted one hundred and thirteen days if he were. And he wasnt a nutcase, he wasnt a sociopath, wasnt an outcast. McCandless was something else-although precisely what is hard to say. A pilgrim perhaps.(85) When everyone else was finishing their education and furthering their future Chris wanted nothing but freedom and the chance to follow his dream. He could care less about how much money he had on him, or even leaving his family behind. The people that came across Chris were deeply fond of him. Everyone he met fell in love with him and wanted to know more and more about his life. According to Wayne Westerberg He tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often.(18) When a person is frustrated, often they take out that frustration on those they love the most. Learning to deal with all the struggles people are faced with today can be difficult but when the right people are involved and materialistic things are the least of their worries anyone can overcome anything.
People do love the excitement and freedom of living on their own in the outdoors but at the end of all of it the thing that really matters is how the experience did change them as a person. The determination that someone has to have to do what Chris did is unbelievable and shows that when someone sets their mind to something they can achieve anything.