A truly free spirit, an idealist, or a fool?
One can easily label Christopher McCandless with any of those names, knowing nothing more than what the news of his disappearance and death in the wilderness of Alaska said. But once you read the book of Jon Krakauer, which depicts the portrait of McCandless very sensitively, you certainly won’t call him a fool.
Chris’s story left many question marks, and no one else but Jon Krakauer, famous for his former story Into Thin Air, decided to answer those question marks for good. Why did he decide to go for the project? I think that Krakauer saw a bit of himself in McCandless’s personality, or perhaps a person he’d like to be (in certain way). This natural connection (or attraction if you want) left him no other option than researching about his story and eventually writing the book.
I am definitely happy he’d taken that decision!
A warning finger for society
Smart, successful, from a good family, with a great perspective for the future. The world as we knew it was at McCandless feet. He could have followed the way many of us would wish to follow–a path of prestigious education and a great career, getting recognition from the society of rich.
Yet he learned to despise all of that– formal education, having a job, and possibly even something about society. Krakauer doesn’t go deep into McCandless personality, but from what we can find in his diary, and in the interviews with people he met on his way to Alaska, it is evident that Chris was deeply touched by the inequality he saw in the world. Alex the super-tramp didn’t consider the way we live right.
Going into the wild, or going wild?
Krakauer, avid hiker and mountaineer himself, depicts the journey of Chris in an enjoyable way. You can imagine every step he took, but you can just wonder what was on his mind, when he, for example, given all his savings to charity and abandoned everything he had owned back home.
Maybe it was a journey of self discovery, maybe a way of purity. Nevertheless Alex wasn’t lucky to end his journey. We may pity him on one side, but on the other one, if he had returned home safe and sound, we might have never read this amazing true story.
Wasn’t it his death, after all, that helped him to achieve his secret goal? Now we have a book that will help us question the way we live, and the way the society functions. Thank to Krakauer, thanks to Chris!
You can get the book on Amazon from here (affiliate link, you’ll help this old guy survive when buying through the link.)