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Chris McCandless and Jack London

Ben Lewis

on 14 December 2012

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Transcript of Naturalism

Naturalism By Ben Lewis Philosophy Travels Early Life Conclusion Chris McCandless Grows Up in A Wealthy Family "[Chris] frequently railed against Walt and Billie, portraying them as unreasonable tyrants" (115) - Kris Gillmer "[Walt's] first marriage was in trouble. He and his wife, Marcia, separated. Walt started dating a secretary [...] named Billie. They fell in love and moved in together" (106) - Krakauer wanted to make his own decisions
longed to embrace nature without parental control resented his father for having previous marriage
caused him to run away Jack London Grew up in San Francisco from an impoverished family became bitter towards his parents
ran away from home several times
self-educated himself Had Socialist leanings had him conclude "life exists as man's unending struggle against a ruthless nature" - Jack London
personal poverty might have influenced
despised American capitalism Conclusion Both Chris McCandless and Jack London resented their parents, Chris for his parent's control and London for his parent's poverty, which pushed them away from their families and into nature. Additional info well educated
was resourceful enough to make his own wealth Both Chris McCandless and Jack London admire nature and are attracted to the beauty it possesses, despite possible danger. However London sees nature as a force imposed upon humankind while in contrast Chris McCandless sees embracing nature as a wise option that leads to ultimate success. Chris McCandless "Two years he walked the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes" (163) - Alexander Supertramp "In great frustration he screams and beats canoe with oar. The oar breaks. [...] Finally through extreme effort and much cursing he manages to beach on jetty canoe and collapses exhausted" (36) - Alexander Supertramp "Sure [Chris] screwed up. But I admire what he was trying to do. Living off the land like that, month after month, is incredibly difficult" (185) - Roman monetary items unnecessary for happiness
thus entered the wild with few supplies realized nature is cruel
now understands difficulty of surviving in nature made miscalculations on survival in wild
his accomplishments were still significant
pain did not prevent himself from smiling Jack London Klondike Gold Rush spent half a year in Alaska searching for gold
found nothing, went broke, and developed scurvy Despite the pain ... nearly every he wrote was about the Great North
praised Alaska for its natural splendors
most of his books were about wolves Conclusion Chris McCandless and Jack London agreed that nature is full of hardships. Nevertheless both are in awe of the wild despite the pain that is inflicted upon them. Nature is Alive "dark spruce forests frowned" - Jack London "there was a hint in [the forest wind] of laughter" - Jack London "was that Earth of which we have heard, made out of Chaos and Old Night. [...] Nature made [Earth], and man can use it if he can" (172) - Henry David Thoreau Jack London View Nature is a necessary part of mankind, there is no escape "[the forest] was the masterful and incommunicable wisdom of eternity laughing at the futility of life and the effort of life. It was the Wild, the savage, frozen-hearted Northern Wild" - London the Wild is more powerful than man
the Wild is cruel and unforgiving
the Wild mocks civilization for it is not everlasting Chris McCandless's View Nature offers opportunity for the development of success; it is not enforced "The freedom and beauty of [nature] is just to good to pass up" (33) - McCandless "there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun" (57) - McCandless nature is a blessing that should be grasped
does not want to return to society traveling continuously keeps McCandless satisfied
nature offers McCandless a fresh new start every day Question How is Chris McCandless’s view of nature similar to the beliefs of his influence Jack London and in contrast how do they disagree?
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