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Identity- Into The Wild
Transcript of Identity- Into The Wild
Into the Wild Christopher McCandless Alexander Supertramp Leather Tramp What is Identity? Why Change ones Identity? Introduction to the Novel Identity can mean something different to everyone. There are many official definitions, which include the following:
1. The collective aspect of the set of characteristics by which a thing is definitively recognizable or known
2. The set of behavioral or personal characteristics by which an individual is recognizable as a member of a group.
3. The quality or condition of being the same as something else.
4. The distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity; individuality.
5. Information, such as an identification number, used to establish or prove a person's individuality, as in providing access to a credit card. 1) To escape the truth of their lives. (extreme guilt, negative relationships, extreme financial issues.)
2)Boredom( want to experience something new as a different person.)
3)To run away from responsibilities.(school, work, family)
4) The individual's goals and aspirations change while the people around them remain the same.
5) The thrill of being who ever you want and being able to change at any given time
6)Breech of personal safety (stalker, abusive relationship) Why we think that Christopher McCandless changed his identity?Chris came from a very materialistic family, while Chris as an individual is the furthest thing from it. He is personally felt very strongly against the society and lifestyle in which he grew up in. Growing up in his family he was always under pressure to meet his parent's high expectations of being successful through money. Chris' idea of success was more based on personal identification. This drive to find his true identity is what brought him to make his journey to Alaska, in this process he changed his name to Alexander Supertramp. Changing his name meant that he was no longer under the pressures of his former life and could focus on who he wanted to become. Symbolism of burning of his identity… In religious terms fire is a symbol of respect. In biblical stories God manifested himself to man in the form of fire, to display his holiness and his purity. He sometimes renders himself visible in the form of a burning bush, to express himself to be as formidable as a devouring flame. The earliest people also considered fire as a lifesaving gift from God. This is almost the exact opposite way of how fire is now viewed. In societal terms of today fire is a symbol chaos and war. Fire burns everything leaving nothing but ruins in its path. Fire cleanses and purifies. Love is spoken of as an eternal flame, in contrast it can also be and extreme hate. The flame can also be used to express determination or a strong desire. In knowing the symbolism of fire, it makes us understand that Chris was at war with himself, he also had an extreme hate for the lifestyle that he had lived for so long, the lifestyle that was associated with his name and money. He had an internal conflict and in burning his personal documentation he was able to cleanse himself of his old life and was then able to move on with his new identity. Christopher McCandless
Born: February 12, 1968 California, United States
Body Discovered: September 6, 1992
Died: August 1992 (age 26) Stampede Trail, Alaska, United States The novel Into the Wild is an uplifting, encouraging story about an adventurous young man with high expectations and an enormous spirit. At age twenty four Christopher McCandless left home to start his great Alaskan journey. Upon leaving Christopher sold his apartment, donated $24000 dollars to a worthy charity, burned all documentation about himself, and adopted a new name Alexander Supertramp. For two years he traveled through various states in America with no map, no agenda, just the will to travel. On his epic journey he met a variety of people whom he left a lasting impression on. Some of these individuals included: Wayne Westerberg
Wayne Westerberg employed McCandless in Carthage, South Dakota. McCandless became friends with Westerberg and enjoyed his time in South Dakota so much that he claimed South Dakota as his home thereafter. Westerberg took on the role of a brotherly mentor figure in Chris's life.
McCandless meets Jan Burres and her boyfriend Bob, both transients, on the road. McCandless meets up with Jan and Bob a few times and keeps in touch with them periodically through post cards. Jane considers herself as a motherly figure for Chris, having taking him after knowing what it was like to loose her own son.
Ronald Frantz Ronald Frantz gives Chris a ride to his camp at Oh-My-God Hotsprings. Ron, who had lost his wife and only son some forty years earlier in a car accident, felt a connection with Chris. Frantz and Chris developed a relationship and spent a lot of time together. The two became so close that Ron even asked Chris if he could adopt him as a grandson. Later, Chris writes Frantz a letter from South Dakota, urging him to become more nomadic. Frantz took his advice, and occupied Chris’s old campsite. Once reaching Alaska and alone in the wild, Chris continues to document his journey by keeping a journal. Not much information is conveyed at this time in Chris's life making it difficult to know what was truly occurring to him. Christopher dies after having eaten poisonous berries. Chris's actions have caused many different debates on safety in the wild and have said that what he did amounted to suicide. Others praise him for his courage and spirit of adventure. The location of his death has become almost a tourist attraction with many people visiting every year. As mentioned previously Chris was always very different from his family. However as a child he mindlessly kept up the image that his parents set for him. Chris had always been a good student maintaining A average grades. He was also very athletic and showed great athletic potential as a cross country runner. After excelling in high school, he continued to impress others with his success in University. Despite his ability to conform to his parents ideals, inside he was struggling to be his own person and break free of this conforming lifestyle. A leather tramp is a general term used by the hippies of the 60’s. It is referring to an individual that is traveling by foot. The leather is referring to the leather of a shoe. In contrast to a leather tramp there is a rubber tramp, which is referring to an individual that travels by a motor vehicle. Alexander was known as a hard working, very out going young man. He has a very adventurous personality and is open to new relationships with a variety of different people. His free spirit and positive outlook on life enable him to fully accept his new identity. Ronald Franz was an eighty year old man who takes in Chris for a significant amount of time. The two become very close and from a strong friendship. Having been much older then Chris, Ron finds it his responsibility to care after Chris and his well being. He feels so close to Chris that he decides to ask Chris for the permission to adopt him as his grandson and take on his last name. However Chris feeling uncomfortable by this request, kindly declines it by saying "we'll talk about it when i get back" the old man knowing that he won't return. By reacting in such a way, Chris was unwilling to take another name that could have restricted him. Although Chris cared deeply for Ron and in no way was trying to hurt him, he had finally felt comfortable in his identity as Alexander Supertramp and did not want to change it again. At this point in our lives as high school students about to make the huge transition in to our adult hood, we will have to make life changing decisions. Our journey will be difficult at times but it is a journey that we must all take in order to find our place in society and to realize our true identity. Our task for you is to create a list of things that you would like to accomplish along the way, a " bucket list" if you will. Personal Opinion...