I think that I can relate to some of the aspects of Chris McCandless's personality, mainly his independence. I thought that the book had addressed alot of important issue in life, and I liked hoe the themes in the book are pretty universal. Mccandless threw off the shackles of modern society, and defied the conventional lifestyle of the many people around him. I think that in alot of ways teenagers rebel from the norm and choose to explore more unique interests. I think I could definately relate to Mccandless's independence in many of the things that I do, however I think that his rebellion was an extreme different from my own. I can relate to Mccandless's personality but not to his actions; I understand the drive he must have felt to explore an interest, but I can't understand as to why he would completely abandon his family. That aspect of the book was one that I couldn't understand. I felt like Mccandless resented those who didn't share his transcendental ideas, particularly his family, and I couldn't help but feel sorry for his parents because of their disconnect with their son. While I think of myself as fairly independent, I'm no the kind of person who resents those who do not share my opinions.
I think there are more differences between Chris McCandless and I than there are similarities. Exploring the wilderness on my own without money or any form of communication is never an action I would take. However, nature has always interested me as it does Chris, and my family camps very frequently in Montana during the summers. Although this is not even close to the extremes that Chris takes in the book, there is a theme of interest in exploring the wilderness. My family has always been an important aspect in my life and the thought of cutting off all contact with them, no matter what I end up wanting to do with my life seems drastic.
I see more in common between myself and Chris McCandless than I would like to. I feel like he acted in an immature manner when dealing with his problems, but I can understand why he did the things he did. I would hope that I would never reach the point where I felt such a strong need to run away from everything I know just to fulfill an unrealistic idea of what happiness is. I can relate to the troubles he had with his family and how the situation affected him, and while it would be nice to escape from those problems, running away to Alaska without leaving any word of where you are going seems immature and counterproductive. I believe that he was looking for something that was unattainable, and deep down he knew that but didn’t want to admit it to himself. If I were in a situation where I felt helpless, like he did, I would not be able to leave the same way. I rely too much on the people around me and what I have grown to believe is comfortable for me to ever be able to take that leap and leave everything behind. I can’t relate to the way he treated his sister who had always been there for him because no matter what I was feeling, I would never be able to leave my brothers or those who love me with such little hope or knowledge of where I was going.
When examining the character of Chris McCandless, I found that I could immediately draw connections between some traits of his personality and a handful of interests we both share. The most profound connection that I found with Chris McCandless was the drive to find meaning in the awesome force that sustains all life that is the hatural world. Though its obvious that Chris took this drive, a passion to find true meaning in the world outside the comforts provided by the mainstream, materialistic America, further than I have and plan to I see myself as a kind of Brooks McCandless. I say this in the sense that when I go down to the lake to sit, often for hours, in almost any weather or any time of day or night I am often looked at by my peers as someone who is a little out there, weird, perhaps even crazy. I've never taken much stock in what other people say however, and like McCandless I wield this self assurance and inner willpower as my greatest strength and, though not as severe as McCanless again, my greatest weakness. I have always loved to read and discuss ideas about the world around me as I seek to define the structure of the society in which I live as well as the people who populate that society, or community.The last strong connection I saw betweeen Chris McCandless and myself was our fundamental awe, appreciation for, and passion in regard to the environment and it is that voice that I will hear while walking the woods and trails of campus to journey to "the beyond" which is one of my favorite philisophical avenues of thought and it is this inner quest with that vice whispering in my ear telling me,as I think it did for Chris, to test myself, do things on my own, and to gain the self reliency to survive outside of civilization.
I think that there are many unique attributes that I share with Chris McCandless. Although I would clearly never put myself in the situation that he did, I definitely possess a strong sense of curiosity and willingness to explore my curiosity. I also think I am very comfortable being independent and fending for myself but would never be able to leave all the comforts of normal society to submerge myself into the world of pure nature. The side of Chris, however, that has a sense of animosity towards people who didn't agree with his view on the beauty of nature is one that I disagree with.
While I don't think I would do what Chris did in the book, I do see some similarities between Chris and I. Chris is a free soul, he doesn't like being tied down by the government or other authoritative figures. I am similar in this way because I like to make my own decisions and figure things out on my own rather than have someone tell me what to do. However, I am still young and must take advice for my own good from other people, but when Chris was on his adventures, he liked to stick to his own "plans". When people asked him to live with him he rejected their offers and decided that he would not give in. He knew what he wanted and was very curious about life in general. I am also very curious about what it would be like to live on my own, but if I were to do what he did I would need help from others to survive. I don't have that same ambition as Chris to survive on my own. I believe nature is very important in everyones lives and that at some point people should get in touch with nature by living out in the wilderness. Maybe not to the same magnitude as Chris though. Similar to Jon Krakauer, I am very interested in Chris as a person. I do not scold his journeys at all and I thought his decision to move out of his house was important for Chris so he could fulfill his life.
Personally, I found what Chris did to his family egregious. Coming from a very close family, the idea of abandoning those who love and care for me is starkly unfathomable. Cutting all communication and contact is pursuit of accomplishing a purely self serving goal, demonstrates the epitome of selfishness. However how outraged I may sound, there are specific characteristics of Chris that I certainly admire. His passion for accomplishing something that he truly believes in is a quality that many people lack. Too often, people (especially the young generation) fall victim to fitting an invisible mold somehow created by society. Walk around any high school in America and you will instantly notice that the majority of the student body is simply cookie cutter copies of each other. Consequently, Chris' ambition to break this societal mold is quite simply remarkable.