Into the Wild

How do McCandless’ ideas about sharing his life with other people change throughout his story?

In chapter 13 (page 189) McCandless is quoted as writing “HAPPINESS IS ONLY

REAL WHEN SHARED.” This statement seems in direct contrast to McCandless’

earlier philosophy of life.

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It's a bit of dramatic irony that Chris should discover what most readers have known all along. Chris's insistence on living like a modern day Thoreau just wasn't realistic. People are social animals, we are hard wired for companionship. Chris romanticized the lone survivalist rebuking the consumer society and the chains that bonded him to it. In the end Chris was alone, sick and depressed. He discovers that the only meaning in life is in a shared context of others. I know, we could have told him that!