Romanticism In Jon Krakauer's Novel: Chris Mccandless

703 Words3 Pages
After reading the book “Into The Wild” there are many words that come to mind when describing Christopher McCandless. To Jon Krakauer Chris McCandless was rash, but Krakauer insists that McCandless “wasn’t a nutcase, he wasn’t a sociopath, he wasn’t an outcast. McCandless was something else - although precisely what is hard to say. A pilgrim perhaps”(85). The real question still remains unanswered, what precisely was McCandless? Chris McCandless ultimately should be described as a romantic. Chris was a free spirit, he was a counterculture adventurer who escaped the shackles of prescribed society and lived for the moment. He ended his relationship with endless consumption and simply went out and experienced people and places for what they really…show more content…
In the book Jon Krakauer explains Chris’s life journey and at the beginning of each chapter Krakauer includes excerpts from books that Chris had read. The authors of those excerpts include Jack London, Tolstoy, plus a few more. All of these authors have one thing in common though, they are all romantic writers. Although Krakauer never remotely states that McCandless was a romantic, the textual evidence proves he was. Chris believed in the concept of non-conformity. His upbringing impacted his life of ease and simplicity. However, he always felt as if he was independent but never was able to fully arrive at complete independence. Chris’s constrained values of appreciation of the power of nature and non-materialism brought him to be labeled as a romantic. Chris McCandless agreed with the ideas of romanticism that came from writers such as Jack London and Henry David Thoreau. Chris set off to go be with nature and to go find his own inner feelings, which embodies the definition of a romantic. McCandless was never one to live by the government’s standard way of living throughout the book. Chris truly showed he was a romantic when, “in a gesture that would have done both Thoreau and Tolstoy proud, he arranged all his paper currency in a pile on the sand-a pathetic little stack of ones and fives and twenties-and put a match to it" (Krakauer 29). By burning all of his money he practiced the romantic ideals of reaching true freedom without the need for money or material things created by man and symbolized that he was free from what was a burden to him. In a letter that McCandless wrote to Franz, Chris wrote, "The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun"(

More about Romanticism In Jon Krakauer's Novel: Chris Mccandless

Open Document