Into the Wild

Explain how McCandless’s quest for “ultimate freedom” is inherently selfish.

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His life was not all that bad with his family. He was upper middle class with plenty of opportunity. After graduating from high school McCandless spends the summer alone on a road trip across the country, during which he discovers that his father secretly had a second family during Chris’s childhood. McCandless returns home and starts as a freshman at Emory, but his anger over this betrayal and his parents’ keeping it from him grows worse over time. Chris was close to his sister Carine. By the time that McCandless is a senior at Emory, he lives monastically, has driven away most of his friends with his intensity and moral certitude, and barely keeps in touch with his parents. He lets his parents think that he is interested in law school, but instead, after graduating with honors, he donates his $25,000 savings anonymously to charity, gets in his car, and drives away without telling anyone where he is going, abandoning the use of his real name along the way. He never contacts his parents or sister, Carine, again. No Chris was not justified in treating his family the way he did. Despite the romanticism to his cause (whatever it was) he also caused his family great pain and suffering. A post card here and there to his sister only confounded their psin and sense of loss. Chris, in many ways was selfish.

Oh my God thank you so much Aslan you're the best! :)


Hey, you are welcome!

I do not understand why people have turned a seemingly self-centered rich boy into a hero. I just don't get it. He burns money? Gives up a car? Big deal. He always knew mom and dad would be there to pick him up when he got tired of pretending like he was truly struggling. People that truly struggle do so with a bravery that Chris did not have. He was self-indulgent, hurt his family, and always knew he could go home to a warm bed when things got too tough. That's nothing to be idolized.