The novel Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer is a famous non-fiction book that deals with the life of Chris McCandless and tracks him in his journey into the wilderness. As the novel is an international bestseller and is widely used at schools and colleges in the reading curriculum, students are often required to write an analytical or an argumentative essay or another type of writing an assignment on this novel.
In order to write a successful essay, students should, first of all, choose a topic, develop a strong thesis, and support it with arguments and examples. While choosing the topic and the main focus of the essay on the novel Into the Wild, a student should explore all the issues presented in the book and interpret the actions of the main character. Also, one should remember that in the novel, epigraphs play a particularly significant role.
There are numerous free essays available online that help students concentrate on particular themes and issues explored in the novel. For instance, this article presents several important perspectives, from which to approach the novel.
The Relationships with Family
In order to understand why Chris McCandless started his journey and got away from his everyday life, it is important to explore his relationships with parents. As the readers follow Chris McCandless in his journey, they can see that the man does not show any signs of warm feelings to his family. He seems to neglect any contacts with his parents completely.
Chris McCandless distanced from his parents after his graduation from high school. Already at that time, he rarely communicated with them. The only thing he had told his parents before going away was that he was going to disappear for a while. As he meets Wayne Westerberg, he does not reveal his real name, and Westerberg mentions that it looks like McCandless has had some problems with his family. Maybe, it is the actual issue that lies beyond McCandless’ journey.
The Search for Ultimate Freedom
In the novel Into the Wild, Chris McCandless was searching for ultimate freedom. For this purpose, he began his Alaska trip. Chris McCandless views ultimate freedom as a state in which one can live without complying to rules and regulations. Such freedom can only be approached in harmony with nature as it is free from the rules imposed by the development of modern society. Also, to be free in this meaning implies living in complete isolation as only in this way, one can follow just the rules of nature and not have obligations toward other people. Throughout the novel, Chris McCandless was in a search for freedom, and at the same time, it revealed his selfishness as he was only following his own interests and refused to comply. Despite the fact that Chris McCandless was courageous and confident, he did not come out of his journey alive.
The Allure of the Wilderness
Chris McCandless is shown in the novel as a young idealist who has a dream and tries to follow it. He was obsessed with the vision of the wilderness as some sort of purer state, in which one could find harmony. In other words, Chris McCandless was just a victim of his own obsession. He wanted to connect with nature and believed that only in the wilderness, one could be completely free. On the one hand, McCandless finds out that the reality of living in the wilderness is not actually the same as he has expected it to be. As a result, he becomes obsessed only with how to find food and does not pay much attention to the real appreciation of the wilderness. On the other hand, Chris McCandless finds some answers to the questions he has wanted to know and manages to reveal some secrets of how to live on your own without any rules. Still, the journey into the wild becomes fatal to him, and he cannot come out of it alive.
There is a film that is an adaptation of Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. It was shot in 2007, and its writer-director was Sean Penn. In general, the movie has received positive response among the audience and critics. That is why it can be interesting to compare how the story is approached in the book and in the film and how the means of representation differ depending on the form and purpose.
All things considered, Into the Wild presents a complex psychological character study as the readers follow Chris McCandless in his journey. The readers find out what McCandless believes in and learn how he approaches his dream and faces the reality that finally becomes fatal to him. While some may argue that McCandless was just a victim of his own obsession, others emphasize his courage and confidence above everything else. In general, the novel explores significant issues that are relevant in modern society.