Chapter 6, into the wild
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Ronald Franz is an eighty-year old devout Christian and soldier who picks McCandless up hitchhiking and takes a strong liking to him. He has lost his wife and children long ago, and so feels a fatherly affection for Chris, whom he offers to adopt. After hearing of Chris’s death, he stops believing in God. Unlike Chris, Franz's separation from his family was not a conscious choice. Franz did not forsake his family out of an ideology that rejected perceived hypocrisy and materialism. On the contrary, Franz did his best to persuade Chris to let his family know he was safe. Franz feels the pain of being separated from his family and knows it is unhealthy for Chris not to feel a similar way.