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Characterisation of Chris in Into The Wild Essay


The Story of Chris McCandless;

His Feelings and Views on what was going on Around and Within Him

Chris McCandless was a lost soul; his family may have been set for life, but Chris wanted nothing to do with them. Financial aid for college was never a problem for Chris, he graduated from Emory on time, and his parents wanted to pay for law school even buy him a new car. Though Chris didnt want that, he wanted to get away from everything that society was, he didnt want his parents buying him a new car, he wanted to be independent and plan his own future; so Chris McCandless disappeared and became Alex Supertramp heading into the wild.

Chris wandered the North American continent for two years until his downfall in Alaska. For those two years he went from Atlanta to Houston, Detrital Wash, Grand Junction, Carthage, Cut Bank, Seattle, Astoria, Orick, Dawson Creek Liard River Hot Springs Fairbanks and ended at the Stampede Trail in Alaska. He went to Alaska twice though, something calling to him there. Little did Chris know, it was the fact of his downfall calling

In the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer; Chris changed his name to Alex Supertramp: The hitchhiker swung his pack into the bed of the Ford and introduced himself as Alex. Alex? Gallien responded, fishing for a last name. Just Alex, the young man replied (Krakauer 4). Chris set out knowing he was going to change his name, make it so the McCandlesss couldnt find him, when he left his house in the summer of 1990 and was hitchhiking up to Alaska he knew then he was going to be Alex Supertramp.

Chris, as Alex Supertramp touched many peoples lives. Gallien and Chris got very close just while Chris was in his pick up. Gallien was the type of father Chris always wanted and needed. Even from the get go, when Chris first got into Galliens Ford, he was concerned about Chris. For Gallien was an experienced hunter and knew just from looking at Chriss cheep leather hunting boots they were not water proof or well insulated. Gallien offered to buy Chris some good gear, instead of the 22 caliber he had and the cheep boots. Chris denied the offer though, saying he was fine with what he had. So instead of Gallien buying him new gear he offered an old pair of rubber boots to Chris: Before Alex left the pickup, Gallien reached behind the seat, pulled out an old pair of rubber work boots, and persuaded the boy to take them.They were too big for him, Gallien recalls. (7). In the end Chris took the boots, making Galliens peace of mind rest; Gallien figured he would walk out to the highway if Chris got in any real trouble.

The hitchhiking was hard on him; Chris lost a lot of weight. He lost it fast, faster than anyone ever should. Its not like its a documentary or a movie where people were making sure he was eating the right things and enough of it. This was real life, no one was there to hold his hand and make sure he brushed his teeth or that he made smart decisions. Chris had what he wanted, to be independent. Chris wrote in his journal:

Oh, how one wishes sometimes to escape from the meaningless dullness of human eloquence, from all those sublime phrases, to take refuge in nature, apparently so inarticulate, or in the wordlessness of long, grinding labor, of sound sleep, of true music, or of a human understanding rendered by speechless emotion! (189).

Chris thought life was dull, he wanted to just be; Chris thought nature, something that would never choose to be kind or mean to anyone was what he needed. That true music was the sound of a creek rushing and birds chirping, sleep was not sound if it was protected in a sturdy house; rather a tent in the middle of the wilderness was what Chris needed.

Chris was alone; exactly one of the things he wanted, or thought he wanted. Granted he asked his parents to let him take the family dog, Buck, with him for companionship, but it wasnt likely they would say yes. Buck had a cast on his back leg from getting hit by a car and on top of that Buck was an older dog. His parents and sister cant help but wonder what would have been the outcome of Chriss adventure, if they had let him take Buck along; Chris may have never gone into the Alaskan wilderness if he had Buck to worry about. His sister said:

Chris was crazy about Buck, Carine says. That summer he disappeared hed wanted to take Buck with him. After graduation from Emory, he asked Mom and Dad is he could come get buck, but they said no, because Buckly had just been hit by a car and was still recovering. Now, of course, they second-guess the decision, even though Buck was really badly hurt; the vet said hed never walk again after the accident. My parents cant help wondering- and I admit I cant, either- how things might have turned out different if Chris had taken Buck with him. Chris didnt think twice about risking his own life, but he would have never put Buckley in any kind of danger (128).

Could Chris still be alive if he was allowed to take Buck with him, or would he had eaten Buck when he was starving to death? No one knows, nor ever will know what the outcome would have been. Chris could have not even gone to Alaska had Buckley been with him, or go canoeing down the rapids in Arizona. According to his sister, Carine, he would have never risked taking a chance that would have risked Buckleys life.

While Chris was in the bus, on the Stampeed trail he wrote in the books he had with him and on the walls of the bus. Things about food, what was going through his mind, anything really. It was just short snippets of information, notes to him-self and maybe others to help them survive after he was gone. Chris planned on leaving the bus after a while. Move on with his journey, go home. At the end of his life he thought of going home and reconnecting with his family. Too see Buck and his sister again; maybe talk about his plans for life with his parents. Tell them what he wanted, not let them decide for him. Chris never got that chance due to moldy zip lock bags he was storing his food in.

The story of Chris McCandless is one ever teenager must read, parents like to act and make decisions without finding out what the child wants or needs. It was the same way with Chris and his parents. They wanted to buy him a new car and pay for law school, so Chris could focus on graduating and finding a law firm to work for. The thing is, Chris didnt know if that was what he wanted, if he would be happy with that. So Chris Mcandless disappeared and Alex Supertramp became, in the end killing both of them with a painful, miserable death of starvation.

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