Into the Wild Into the Wild question


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Candless is Helpless
deleted member Sep 07, 2012 11:51AM
I thought that Chris McCandless was a complete idiot, with a lack of common sense he led himself "Into the Wild" The story was interesting with Chris's constant hardships of living on your own with no money, no possessions, and no one to go back too. Chris honestly had a death wish in my opinion. Wether it was an obsession or wether he was mentally confused, it was still an interesting story, about how he tried to overcome nature. He still ended up dying in nature, but the determination that McCandless had for living in the wild was impeccable, and overall let to a fairly well written and designed story, even though the character had seemingly no common sense which made McCandless a character who you could not have any empathy for.



"lack of common sense" and "having a death wish" are two separate explanations. i support the latter.


McCandless was an idiot and probably mentally ill. He was basically a street person, not any kind of hero or adventurer.

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Duane As much as I love to tear McCandless a new Obama whenever I get the chance, I'd say he was mentally ill - he may even have been getting into early ons ...more
Nov 29, 2014 08:13PM

Krakauer asserts that Chris McCandless did not have a death wish. I agree. The Chris McCandless story touched me deeply. I do relate to Chris and empathize with him, although I think it must have been horrible for his family to not know where their son was for years.

When Krakauer writes about his own story of climbing Devil's Thumb, I feel that he is relating to McCandless and in sharing his own story of hiking the thumb, he is trying to help give the readers insight into young Chris McCandless. I feel like Krakauer sees himself in Chris McCandless. He definitely identifies with him. I appreciated Jon Krakauer sharing the stories of other men who have followed similar impulses as Chris. It gave me a broader understanding of Chris' story and I was fascinated by the mass psychology of it.


Graham wrote: "I thought that Chris McCandless was a complete idiot, with a lack of common sense he led himself "Into the Wild" The story was interesting with Chris's constant hardships of living on your own with..."
Maybe so, but he died happy and free feeling that he lived life like HE wanted to and not like the world deems we should. By creating a a new life for himself he created a new and improved Chris McCandless, and changed many peoples lives for the better. This being said I do see were you are coming from with your comment. To put into perspective this is coming from a teenager.


He almost made it...but a few mistakes along the way, or even one mistake in a harsh wilderness, will cost a person their life. I like Krakauer's reporter-esque writing style.

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BubblesTheMonkey I agree. I love his writing style. It makes reading nonfiction interesting.
Apr 16, 2013 01:15PM

I wanted to smack him upside the head with a sledgehammer. What a total rube. A primer on how not to do it.


I don't feel he had a death wish, just that his desire to be completely independent (in a far more extreme sense than most of us consider independence) left so little room for error. He was at one point ready to walk out of "the wild". He also, when he was near death and away from the bus to pick berries, left a note imploring anyone who might come by to stay and rescue him. He did want to get out of there alive, but it was so joyful for him to have lived life on his own terms that he ultimately died without regrets.

The main thing I would criticize him on is his disregard for his family's feelings. He seemed unable to extend understanding and compassion to them, especially his father. Ultimately, he was a very young man, and I think if he'd survived, he might have "evened out" his extreme lifestyle in a way, maybe getting back into contact with his family, maybe forgiving them and acknowledging that he might need their forgiveness too. That's all speculation, of course...just my impression.


Regaurdless of how stupid he was he still lived out his life they way he planned to and wanted to. He almost made it as well, it was just a few simple mistakes that cost him his life, therfore, I dont believe he intended to die in the wilderness.


It wasn't necessarily a lack of common sense, in my opinion. I don't think he was really trying to test if himself could actually survive, but what he would become if he lived in peace with nature for awhile. Also, I think he knew that there was a chance he would die. If he didn't have common sense, he wouldn't have acknowledged the probability that he could actually die.


Shelter (last edited Nov 29, 2012 01:33PM ) Nov 29, 2012 01:33PM   0 votes
I would not say Chris McCandless was a complete idiot, but he certainly was misguided, and perhaps lacked the proper judgement to know his limitations. He was basically a product of modern times. Our society teaches kids that it's not what they know, but what they believe. He thought he knew more than he really did, merely because he believed in an ideology. Arrogance commingled with ignorance is part of why our society is struggling. Chris McCandless is a perfect allegory for what might befall the United States in the future: emaciated and dead in an abandoned school bus.


Walter (last edited Sep 07, 2012 01:55PM ) Sep 07, 2012 01:46PM   0 votes
Not to live life on your own terms it's what's idiotic, in my opinion.

Chris McCandless saw something intrinsically wrong with modern society, and most importantly, with the direction in which his life was heading, which in a way shows he did have the common sense to recognize and address his personal, emotional needs.

Granted, I wouldn't have done things in the manner Alex "Supertramp" chose to do them, however, I fully respect him for having the courage to live his philosophy in the flesh, even if it costed him his life. Do you know a lot of people like that nowadays?

Genuineness won't always go hand in hand with common sense, especially when what's "common sensical" or not depends largely on modern, collective values. It is precisely this, that McCandless sought to distance himself from.


In a way I like McCandless, but I don't like Krakauer. I feel that adding all those other stories in their along with Chris's was just so he could add his too so that it didn't sound as if he wanted attention, even though I think he did. I do think Chris is an idiot. When I saw picture when he was sitting outside the bus, even then he was a nice, good-looking kid and could've found someone to be happy with, instead he starved and died. I agree, yes we should make the world a better place, but then Chris could live in a house without electricity or gas, he could go places with a bike and not a car, and he could grow his own food at home. I think Chris may have had some strange thoughts that not many of us knew about.


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