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Into The Wild

Into the Wild is a popular film, based on a non-fiction novel written by Jon Krakauer, detailing the journey of Christopher McCandless, a young Emory university graduate who hailed from Virginia, and who took a hike in solitude, in an attempt at self-actualization by bonding with nature and seeking spiritual nourishment. This essay briefly examines the crux of the film.

Having graduated on top of his class in 1991 and having attained repute as an athlete, Christopher McCandless left everything in his possession, donated his lifetime savings to the tune of $24,000 to Oxfam International on charitable grounds and set for his pilgrimage. In April 1992 he departed from his daily well-to-do life, torched his wallet with cash inside, renamed himself “Alexander Supertramp’’ and like a pilgrim, headed to the north of Mt. McKinley on his way to Alaska.

While on his way there, he stumbles upon a succession of different people and events which influence his life. Though he was cash-strapped, he was determined to make it to the ‘promised land’. He sojourned in America to experience her as a country and her citizens. Among the activities he was involved in on his way to Alaska included a trip with a canoe on high waters, a sojourns with a couple and old widower. He had to endure the vagaries of a long, unplanned expedition: fatigue, hunger and cold, which nearly worked against him.

All this while his family never heard from him nor anything related to his whereabouts. This got his father, mother and sister worried about him. Their fears were confirmed when four months later, a moose hunter bumped into an emaciated decomposing corpse which had a distress note within it. The circumstances surrounding his death form the thrust of the book and film. Into the wild is a peek into the life of a naive, and inexperienced lad, who becomes the subject of newspaper headlines after all his efforts prove futile.

Jon Krakauer in his non-fiction treatise s Into the Wild skillfully depicts the life of a young adventurous man in need of his space by exploring the expeditious life of Christopher McCandless, the subject of the book and film.

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