Chris McCandless Success
When Chris McCandless walked into the Alaskan wilderness, he was seeking something.
There was a whole within his soul that he made his goal to fill. His early life had left him with a
fierce independent streak as well as an real problem with society. While he dislike the strictures
of society he was comfortable with himself and believed his could find what he sought within
himself which led him to a life of adventure and self-reliance. He wanted to find himself, be
himself and live without judgement. Chris believed he could change the world if he could just
fill in that whole within himself. He did change the world indirectly through the book about his
life. Chris McCandless did indeed find what he was searching for in the Alaskan wilderness, he
lived as he wished, came to understand happiness, impacted society and lived life to the fullest
even though it cost him that same life.
As a child Chris had family problem and which drove him to avoid human relationships.
When he graduated from college, it was a turning point in his life. Suddenly he found himself in
a position where, for the first time, he could govern the extent of his relationship. Chris used this
life decision point to begin his voyage of self discovery by roaming. After he finished college he
sent a letter to his parents stating that he was going to disappear for awhile. Disappear he did, “It
was the last time anyone in Chris’s family would ever hear from him.” (22) While Chris
abruptly cut all his family ties, his sister did not hold him accountable because she later cut her
own ties with her parents. His sister Carine understood that if Chris left any sign for their parents
they would make every effort to bring him back. Chris essentially remade himself as a man
without any social or family ties. He even went so far as to rename himself “Alex Supertramp”.
As Chris travelled he did meet and make friends with many people during his journeys.
However, as these friends would begin to become close to him he would push them away. One
man name Ron did succeed in becoming more close than most to Chris, “‘So I asked Alex if I
could adopt him, if he would be my grandson’”. Later Krakauer said “McCandless was thrilled
to be on his way north, and he was relieved as well-relieved that he had again evaded the
impending threat of human intimacy, of friendship, and all the messy emotional baggage that
come with it”(55). As Ron began to penetrate into Chris’ life he began to shut him out. He wrote
Ron just two or three more letters even as he stayed in contact with other acquaintances who had
not been as close as Ron. By severing the ties that bound him to family and society Chris turned
his search inward and lived an unencumbered life.
Chris was never happier than when he was off on an adventure. He was comfortable
when alone with himself, and even when he was facing death in the Alaskan wilderness he was
still content. One cannot ask for much more out of life...