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Critical Thinking Question from Jake Nurre

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Apr 29, 2012 06:32PM) (new)

I'm not particularly interested in answering your question, but I am interested in thinking critically about your question.

First, let me fix your second question:
"If not, has THERE ever been an event in your life that CAUSED you to contemplate running away"

Secondly, your third question is somewhat bizarrely worded. Are we supposed to articulate what it is about our bourgeoisie life that causes us to contemplate running away, or are we supposed to articulate what it is about American culture that we disagree with?

Maybe a better formulation of this question would be, "What is it about American society that causes certain members of the population to take drastic measures and willfully exile themselves from contemporary society?"

Certainly this isn't a new phenomenon as people have been throwing up their hands and declaring the decline of civilization since the dawn of civilization. Perhaps a secondary reformulation of your question could be, "What is it about the current state of American culture/society that causes certain people like Alexander Supertramp to willfully exile themselves?"

Now your first question is intriguing. You don't define "something drastic" but we can assume you mean to "exit from society", but I'm more interested if anybody is willing to post something more... salacious or political. Has anybody ever done anything overtly political other than removing one's self from the discourse (which effectively silences one's self)?

edited for minor grammatical/stylistic issue


Rachel I don't think he means drastic as just leaving society. there are a number of things that can mean. But to each person different things are drastic. So I think he's just wanting feed back and just hearing what all different types of people think. He's not asking what do you think cause people in society, he wants to know what would compel you personally. At least that is how I read it with all the "you"s thrown in there, lol.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

He's not asking what do you think cause people in society, he wants to know what would compel you personally

Is there really a difference? He's not forming a poll for statistical reasons, I'm assuming. Why would he want to know what event in people's lives made them do something drastic without asking what it is about that event?


Rachel Well to me there is a difference. Not what do we think as a whole, more as what do I think would make me do that sorta question. Maybe he will answer use so we'll know what he means. Nah he's not doing some research paper, I think he's just wondering after reading this book. After reading it myself, I never stopped to even ask what would make others, just what would it take for me to leave society. I think he wants to know those answers.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I doubt he'll return as his profile has only one book on it. The questions he poses just feel like homework. Around this time of year, kids start posting questions in threads in an attempt to get help with their homework. I can almost always tell as the questions are invariably poorly formulated. The questions always stink of under-educated high school teachers.


Rachel LOL you maybe right. I didn't think about that theory. We didn't have all this kinda stuff when I was in high school. Mostly they had CliffNotes and that was about it.


James Powell You're a hard man, macgregor!

If that set of questions isn't a high school essay prompt, I will be surprised.


Jake N. Well, you guys were dead on. I am just a high school student. However, I am not asking for help on a research paper. The questions were just my response to an assignment which required me to think of some questions that could appear on a test over the story. They were supposed to be posted on a private discussion board made by my teacher but ended up on the public board by accident. Thank you for all your interesting thoughts and surprising conclusions, but I am sorry to say that the questions were not meant to be analysed at such a professional level.


Rabih Running into the wild never occurred to me but I enjoyed reading the book because it reflected on human beings and how material they became.

It's not events that make you run away , it's simply revulsion !


Lilyan Grubach-hambrook Interesting thread. It usually isn't one thing that makes you go into the wild. It's being comfortable in your silence and sick to death of the speed, greed, compromise of city life, disfunction within his family, and as a dependent person (in the case of McCandless)lack of empowerment. What do you have at home? It's not about destruction of society and end of the world doomsday fear. It's actually the opposite. An empowering, nurturing, rebirth. I left the city for the bush 23 years ago. I lived off the grid( still do), hunted and still do, had and have an impressive garden and still do, didn't have wheels until my late 30's (didn't need them), built my own home in the woods, in the silence of the forests and mountains, and streams and rivers around me. I consider myself blessed. I would never go back to the psychological insanity that was and still is my family (absolute freudian study in greed, vanity, abuse, childishness, you name it... they so convolute their lives with shit and they are old and exhausted by it all). I was confident enough to do what I wanted to, where I wanted to, but.. ultimately I was aware that nature could kill ... especially nature as extreme in the north. McCandless was in Alaska. I was and still am in the Yukon I too thought McCandless was reckless but as one writer above says 'he just ate the wrong plant'. There are very silly kids out there that eat wild plants in the inner-city that are hallucinogens and toxins and couch surf, work hand to mouth or not at all, and have convinced themselves they are 'righteous dudes' too. Ultimately I don't think he was running away. I think he was running to something better and had an accident. End of story.


sean713 this book is not just about running into the wild. when you think of it, it is about a person making a drastic, radical change in his life style. that change could mean anything from going into the wild, or going out. the wain point is that chris mcCandless life is an example of something that more people should consider doing.


Meredith I hated this book we had to read it for school and oh my gosh i just wanted to throw it out he car window and in to the wild


Ericka Scott Nelson I use this book in my class (college composition) and while I like it, I think this will be my last semester using it. It seems like almost all of my students have already read it in high school!


Wendy Risher I was so moved by this story. I understand his motivations for wanting to get away from society and be closer to nature. When people ask me why I love the story so much, then I realize that they don't really get me. :) However, I would never want to be totally alone like he was. Love and relationships with others is so important.


Cammie Funny Jake, I enjoyed your posts, as well as everyone else's. My first response as I was reading this book was, what a freaking idiot. I live in semi-remote Alaska, and its not hard to put your life on the razor's edge. What was he thinking being so incredibly, naively unprepared for this environment? My second thought was, I get it. Completely.


Cammie BTW, for those of us that appreciate what McCandless was trying to experience, here are a few other great books with complimentary themes:
North to the Night by Simon Alvah
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner


Cammie Lilyan wrote: "Interesting thread. It usually isn't one thing that makes you go into the wild. It's being comfortable in your silence and sick to death of the speed, greed, compromise of city life, disfunction wi..."
Well said


Ericka Scott Nelson Cammie, thanks for posting your book recommendations. I think _The Man Who Quit Money_ by Mark Sundeen is kind of along the same lines too.


Cammie Thanks, I'll put that one on my list : )


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