Transcendentalism In Into The Wild

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To a certain extent, Into the Wild is a modern-day Transcendentalist classic, and mostly not the story of a mentally disturbed young man. To understand this, one must first realize what exactly a Transcendentalist is, and what it means to be mentally disturbed. Transcendentalism was a religious and philosophical movement that stemmed from social factors in 1836, as a reaction to rationalism; it is essentially the protest over spirituality and the intellectualism that results from gaining such experiences. To be mentally disturbed is to have any sort of disturbance of emotional equilibrium, and may be caused by biological, psychological, social and other factors, but such a person may not necessarily be fit to make decisions. In Into the Wild,…show more content…
Transcendentalist author Henry David Thoreau mentioned the following, in his discoveries whilst exploring nature, in Walden: I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” Solitude refers to a state of happiness where one is able to reflect on life without the pressures of life in the city. Thoreau sees nature as a chance to reflect on himself without these pressures, and he feels as if he has discovered a new aspect of himself that was hidden away till then; in making nature a friend, he succeeds in finding himself, and discovering what life truly means for him. Similarly, Christopher sees wilderness as a state of freedom, a state where he is able to do whatever he desires without the prodigiously unnatural pressure he feels imposed on him by society whilst living in the city life. While he is alone, he can live by his own rules and spend time appreciating wilderness, as well as enjoying a world that has not been intruded by humans in any way. However, something that is not obvious to Christopher, but is clearly obvious to the audience is that he spends so much time on the fight for survival, which includes hunting for his food and maintaining his living space, that he has little time to actually enjoy the nature, which was his initial goal when going to Alaska. Nevertheless, Christopher does find some answer to questions which he mentions in his journal entries, highlighting the ways he wants to live, and he feels as if he has completely accomplished this goal by the end of his life, as shown on the memorial left by his parents on the bus, mentioning his last words: “I have had a happy life and thank the Lord, goodbye and may God bless all.” He feels that following this excursion in nature, he has realized the true values of life, and he has
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