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Themes of Into the Wild
Transcript of Themes of Into the Wild
Jessisca Chaffee THEMES OF INTO THE WILD Nonconformity Self-Reliance Free Thought Confidence Importance of Nature Non-Materialistic Concrete Detail Concrete Detail Concrete Detail Concrete Detail Concrete Detail Concrete Detail Concrete Detail Concrete Detail Concrete Detail Concrete Detail Concrete Detail Concrete Detail "Put a match to it. One hundred and
twenty-three dollars in legal tender was
promptly reduced to ash and smoke
[Page 29] Chris was very much of the school that
you should own nothing except what
you carry on your back at a deadrun
[Page 32] "you come to believe in the reliability
of your hands and feet and head.
You learn to trust your
self-control."(page 142) "I've told them a million times that i have the best car in the world, a car that has spanned the continent from Miami to Alaska, a car that has in all those thousands of miles not given me a single problem, a car that i will never trade in, a car that i am very strongly attached to- yet they ignore what i say
and think id actually accept a new
car from them!" (Page 21) "...they delegated to tell him that he needed to bath more often... they started asking
him if he needed some soap or anything... about three weeks later, he just walked out the door and quit." page 41 "he was always going on about trees
and nature..."(page 40) "The beauty of this country is becoming
part of me. i feel more detached from
life and somehow gentler..." Page 91 "no thanks anyway... ill be fine
with what ive got." (page 6) "i even offered to buy him a plane ticket
to Fairbanks... but he said, 'No, I want
to hitch north. Flying would be
cheating. It would wreck the
whole trip.'" Page 67 "'[swear] no.' Alex scoffed. 'How i feed
myself is none of the governments
business. [swear] their stupid rules.'"
(Page 6) This is an example of an extreme view against the
possession of material. McCandless's journal recalls
this act of burning his money after also abandoning
his car. Burning his money was a way to appease
Chris's need to be entirely on his own without the
use of anything modern like his American currency. ...the hypocrisy of his parents lifestyle, the
tyranny of their conditional love. Eventually,
Chris rebelled and when he finally did
it was with characteristic immoderation.
(Page 64) No longer would he answer to Chris McCandless; he was now Alex Supertramp, master of his own destiny. (Page 23) Here Alex is showing his distance from the government and their laws. He wants to make a name for himself but not because of what someone tells him to do for their reasons. Alex does not feel that the government has any right to what he does and how he feels. By saying this Alex is only showing more defiance towards the government and the way of life that he has left. The cuss words beeped out show that he feels very strongly about this, he gets not angry but more upset when he says this. That shows his passion and feeling towards this area. The first part of this quote shows that Alex thinks his parents care too much. He says the "tyranny of their conditional love," in a way that implies he wants to escape that tyranny and hypocrisy. This is used as an explain of nonconformity because in the end Chris rebelled and did not give in to his parents ways and wishes. He left and did not take any money or any of their material things. Here Chris is saying that he is realizing that he needs to rely on himself. By using the example of your hands, feet and head he is showing that he knows his future is up to him and the choices he makes. The second part of his statement is about self-control which relates to self-reliance in many ways. One being to have have self-control, not to do something or contain what you do, you must rely on your ability to do this. In both areas Chris is showing great self-reliance as he goes into the wild. Chris is explaining that his parents had continuously offered to buy him a new car but he has refused. He has been every where with this car and does not see the need for a new one, especially from his parents. This can also relate to not wanting material things, he only needs the minimum amount and doesn't want the coolest or newest thing. He is fine with the car he has even if it is not fancy, showing great self-reliance. The part in the story in which Chris says this is at the beginning when he gets picked up and given a ride into Alaska. He refuses to take some of the things that the driver offers him to try to help him stay safe and well prepared for the wild, though Chris refuses and says, "I'll be fine with what I've got." This statement is showing how much confidence and self-reliance Chris has in the things he has. Though it might only be a weak rifle and about 10 pounds of rice Chris decides he can make do with what he has, therefore being confident in his supplies. This is a great example of confidence, especially confidence that not many people have. Because of the way that planes have been adapted to the obvious choice would be to take a plane out to Alaska but Chris feels he get there without help. He leaves town with no plane ticket and no real idea of how long it will take him to get to Alaska. But in this statement it shows that he has the confidence in himself that he will reach his destination eventually. This is from a peer of Chris's that spent time with Chris and could tell just from the little time that he loved nature. He valued it so much that he would talk about it non stop. Even when Chris was with other people and taking a break from adventure for just days he would never stop thinking about nature and its beauty's. Chris put nature above a lot of things in his life, just like most transcendentalists. When Chris McCandless starts to work at the McDonalds, he is not accustomed to the way of living settled down. He has problems with his hygiene, because he does not bath, and we can assume he does not brush. Chris does not care what others think about him, and in this way he is a free thinker. When Chris's co-workers go to him and try and assist, instead of accepting their help, he quits. A normal person would have taken the soaps and said thank you. Not Chris, instead of accepting help he freely leaves his job. Being a free thinker is about doing what you want to do, and not caring what others think. McCandless is a true free thinker for that reason. The fact that Chris says "master of his own destiny" makes this an obvious choice for free thought. McCandless wants to detach himself from his previous life, and move on to a whole new exciting one. Doing this proves that Chris is a free thinker. A tramp is somebody who walks place to place on foot. McCandless changes his last name to "Supertramp". A tramp has a negative connotation, and is not supposed to be something people want to do. McCandless takes pride in being a tramp. This shows his free thought, because changing his last name to Supertramp may cause people to look down on him, but he does not care. Chris is stating here that he has become accustomed and attached to the beauty of the country. He believes the beauty of the country is the nature not the materials that everyone else values so much. Another thing that shows Chris's love for nature is how he says he feels gentler and detached from life. The importance of nature in his life had affected him so much that he can feel it inside, and he loves it because it is making him peaceful. Chris is showing his distaste and detachment from material things because now he can not buy the things in life that are not needed. As Thoreau would say Chris is "living off the essentials of life," that relates Chris back to being a transcendentalist. Chris did not need material things to make him content. He was always about the things he needed and never about the things he wanted. McCandles essential articles were himself and anything he would eat or drink along the way of his adventure. McCandles never took anything he had for granted. his parents consistently wanted him to have more and more material things. he never wanted anything his parents would attempt to supply him with, he would just get displeased with them. Introduction: Transcendentalism is represented
by the many themes of Into the Wild. There are many themes in Into the Wild but we picked the 6 most prominent themes, which happen to be the basics of transcendentalism. Our themes include nonconformity, self-reliance, free thought, confidence, importance of nature, and non-materialism.