Character Analysis: Chris Mccandless

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Chris Wong Mrs. Schauer English 4 2 28 September, 2015 Run Chris Run! “Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.” (Forrest Gump) Just like chocolates, people never know who they will meet and in Chris McCandless’ case he received a very kind and caring box. In the novel, Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer, the communities that Chris McCandless assimilated into throughout his life gave him a genuine sense of appreciation and benevolent compassion towards others which contributed to his happiness. McCandless developed a genuine gratefulness for others during his adventures. While hitchhiking across the nation McCandless met Wayne Westerberg, a grain elevator owner, who picked up McCandless in the middle…show more content…
In the absence of his “oppressive” parents, Westerberg filled the void in McCandless’ life as a fatherly figure and role model that gave McCandless hope and opportunity in the vast wilderness. Westerberg “gave McCandless employment at the grain elevator…” (Krakauer 17) a few weeks after their fateful meeting which started the genuine relationship between them. Both men learned to value each other in their time together; McCandless was a bright and intelligent character as well as a hard worker which Westerberg treasured. Westerberg provided a community for McCandless to call home and shelter him from the wilderness. In searching for his destiny, McCandless found this safe haven in Carthage whenever he needed to reconnect with society; human interaction offset McCandless for his imminent lonely adventures. The “perfect” life McCandless had as a child did not resonate with his ideals of a raw and tough transcendentalist experience; toiling in South Dakota gave McCandless that thrill in life he craved. Over time McCandless “stayed in touch with Westerberg as he roamed West, calling or writing Carthage every month or two,” (Krakauer 19). This shows that McCandless genuinely cherished the opportunities…show more content…
The lives of Jan Burres and her boyfriend, Bob, were enhanced with McCandless’ compassion. As Burres recalls, McCandless helped her a lot by watching the tables when unattended, reorganizing books, and selling them at the Slabs flea markets (Krakauer 43). McCandless made a difference in Burres’ life even if it was just managing a flea market table and it was because of the community that he could really resonate and connect with. At the same time, Burres was “concerned for McCandless,” and gave him money and utility items for his trek to Alaska (Krakauer 46). It was the tramp lifestyle and its communities that McCandless respected, allowing him to have care for Jan Burres. Both parties treasured each other and continued to keep in contact because of it. Similarly Ron Franz, a retired veteran, was impacted by McCandless as well. By chance Franz picked up McCandless at the side of the road and began a formative relationship with the boy after spending time with him and thinking of McCandless as his son. In their time together, McCandless “would regularly hitch into Salton City to do his laundry and barbeque steaks at Franz’s apartment,” (Krakauer 54) giving Franz a new flame in his life, someone to care about again. Just spending time with Franz improved the quality of the poor old veteran’s life as he was an alcoholic since his wife and

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