Christopher Johnson Mccandless: A Tragic Hero

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Christopher Johnson McCandless was a 23 years old adventurer at heart. He sought to escape his parents and the materialistic ideals of society by hitchhiking his way across North America for two years. After graduating from Emory College, Chris donated his life savings, $24,000, to OXFAM and left in his beloved yellow Datsun without telling anyone, including his family. His end goal after hitchhiking for a while was to set off on his “Great Alaskan Odyssey”, where he believed he would find the meaning of life and solitude. He ended up perishing in the Alaskan bush after he made the fatal mistake of eating poisonous seeds. Throughout Chris’ journey, he met many people from all different backgrounds, all of whom grew very fond of his company…show more content…
His story teaches you to appreciate your time on earth and make the most of it by doing what you enjoy, because you never know when your time is up. Chris aspired to see the beauty of nature and live off the land, and he did just that. Wherever Chris felt like going next, he traveled to because he pushed the limits set by society and overcame obstacles that tried to stop him. When he didn't have a license to paddle down the Colorado river, he entered through a secluded passage anyways and escaped park patrols. After his beloved yellow Datsun got washed away in a flash flood in Arizona, Chris was only left with the clothes on his back and a backpack filled with limited supplies. Despite the setback, he hitchhiked his way out to South Dakota to get a job at a grain mill, where he met his closest friend during his travels, Wayne Westberg. He constantly moved around when he pleased, traveling all over the country to Arizona, Nevada, California, Texas, South Dakota, Colorado, and Alaska. Chris said to Ronald Franz, an 85 year old man whom Chris befriended during his travels, “When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.” This lesson should be considered by all readers of Mccandless’ story, he is proof you can find more joy in two years doing what you please with no money than a lifetime of just going through the motions in…show more content…
He let his arrogance get in the way of being cautious and smart when making decisions. Chris was simply uneducated in many areas when it came to surviving in wild Alaska. He didn't know you should leave the bush no later than spring, or the Teklanika River separating the Stampede trail would be ten times faster and wider due to snow melt from glaciers. Chris didn't think ahead about his departure, and left to go into the bush April 28th, and attempted to leave in June, only to find the river was impassible. To add to his poor planning, Chris was scared of water and didn't know how to swim, making an attempt to cross the river impossible in his mind. He decided to turn back around and extend his stay in Fairbanks Bus 142. If Chris had been more prepared with a map, he would have known about 3 miles from his campsite there were 3 cabins with people renting them, and if he kept walking upstream for a mile the river eventually split up into smaller, more passable streams where he could have waded to the other side. Another example of Chris’ stupidity in survival techniques was the moose tragedy. On June 9th, Chris shot and killed a moose. Back when he worked for Wayne Westberg in South Dakota, he asked local hunters for their advice on the best way to preserve meat. They told him smoking is the best way, but any alaskan man knows the best way to preserve meat is to cut it into

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