Have you ever let fear deter rebellion, possibilities confine dreams or conformity define life? If yes, Christopher McCandless is probably the greatest inspiration you can find; he is the epitome of courage and bravery, an incredible example of a person who can dare to live exactly the way he wants, unaffected by all things human.
In 1990, McCandless, 22, graduated from Emory University, donated his Harvard college fund to charity, and set out to explore the wilderness of the American West, harboring a dream of an “Alaskan odyssey”. A follower of Tolstoy and Thoreau, he chose of a life of isolation and asceticism. In the book, Jon Krakauer follows McCandless’ journey into the wild, and lends this true account his own expertise as an avid mountain climber. Often contrasting McCandless to other adventurers, Jon Krakauer glorifies, objectively, the boy, his life, his dreams and his conquests. During his travels before his self-imposed solitude in Fairbanks, Alaska, McCandless befriended strangers time and again and left an indelible mark on their lives. Again, through his heart-wrenching story, McCandless will touch so many, many more.
Unlike the movie, the book does not detail McCandless’ story chronologically. It digresses often, to draw instances from the lives of other Alaskan wanderers and the author’s own, include snippets of conversations with the people who knew / met McCandless, and quote often from McCandless’ own personal library, the passages he highlighted in his books. It is a personal, touching, inspiring, amazing, impressionable account that will live in your mind for a long time to come.
Rest In Peace, Christopher McCandless alias Alexander Supertramp.
Quotes from Into The Wild:
“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future…The joy of our 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.” – In a letter from McCandless to a guy he befriended before he set out for Alaska.
“If the day and night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragnance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal, – that is your success.” – From a passage highlighted in Thoraeu’s writings with McCandless.