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Into the Wild

Essay by   •  July 22, 2013  •  Essay  •  1,230 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,574 Views

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We live in a rapid growing and developing world today where society is consuming more

and more of the material objects that there is to offer. A world where what is conceived to

be normal is only normal due to the fact that it is what the majority of society believe in. A

world where we have to conform to the expected ways of education and build a life

through jobs, money and reputation. A world where following in your parents footsteps and

being a 'copy' of their success is the only way to make them proud. This world is clearly

and accurately displayed in the feature film, Into The Wild. The film highly criticizes the

value that society today places on materials, wealth and ownership. The film goes against

these values of society through the way we go on a journey with our protagonist,

Christopher McCandless, as he goes on a quest to find his personal identity through

leaving behind society's values, what is expected of him and what's perceived to be

normal. Chris takes numerous steps and makes several decisions to reach the point where

he can completely disconnect himself from society and his old life, and finally find himself

spiritually and who he truly is in a real natural environment.

Based on a true story, as a reader we are quite intrigued by the rather extreme search for

personal identity that Chris undergoes. He completely rejects all the expectations and

values of his middle class society and sets off on a journey into the wild in search of truth

and meaning in his own life and world. In the film it is clear that Chris, while still living

under the control of society, was clearly aware that he was in a place that he did not want

to be in. He had no personal value and it was clear to him that the life of his parents, and

the rest of society around him, was all based on ownership and the value of the materials

which they possessed. Due to Chris being the protagonist and him rejecting these values

of society such as materialism, consumerism and ownership, it is clear that these are the

values challenged in the film and therefore as a viewer we also conform to Chris's views of

these values in society and it actually opens our eyes to the world we live in. As a viewer

we almost feel as if we ourselves just want to push away all these materials, objects and

products and give way from society where we can rely on ourselves and nature to survive.

This is exactly what Chris did. He shunned the values of society and what they had to offer

and set out to develop his own values, such as nature, human connection with the

environment, individual identity and spiritualism, and formed his own sense of identity and

self worth in a much more natural world. Chris did no longer want to be judged on what he

had or how much he had, he did not want to be judged on the contents of his wallet, but

rather to contents of his heart. In the film when Chris was in the bus carving his thoughts

onto a wooden board he wrote "No longer to be poisoned by civilization, he flees" and that

basically summed up what Chris did when it came to the values of society. He didn't want

to be poisoned by these materialistic and consumerist values, therefore he had to

completely flee from society.

When you look at the story of Christopher McCandless from Into The Wild and take it from

his perspective, he was hardly depressed, suicidal or ignorant. Although his story ended

tragically and not quite as he had planned, we can definitely say that it ended in a way

Chris wanted it to, with value and self worth. At the end of his journey and reaching Alaska,

Chris had finally reached a point where he discovered himself spiritually

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