Into the Wild
Jon Krakauer’s “Into the wild” is a nonfiction book based on a true story about a young man named Christopher Johnson McCandless. Christopher is a young American who decided to roam the wilderness of the U.S. after graduation from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He then chooses to live the life of a drifter, leaving the life of the ideologies of materialism that surrounds us in this society we live in. His story is a great example of a youth who is really trying to find himself through getting lost but yet finding himself through a bunch of trials and tribulations.
In this book, there are many underlying themes that seem to pull me in more than anything else i came across. First is the allure of the wilderness. Everybody’s preconceived notion about the wilderness is that it has a certain allure as a pristine place free of all evils that society bears and brings. Then again the reality of living in the wilderness can be quite different from living in the day to day lives we live in this society. I believe he wanted a way to prove himself to everyone that he can be able to survive on his own without money, lack of items, and only own things that he can carry on his back, which i believe lead him to his downfall. We all know the effects of being prepared, and unprepared. Lack of preparedness will eventually ruin what you have going for yourself.
Another theme i noticed that runs really deep is isolation. In this society, we carry ourselves as individuals but forget that we work for each other at the end. I believe Christopher loses that ideology somewhere down the line. Christopher isolates himself from the other students, his friends, and from his family. He then comes to the realization that he should trek out into the wilderness to fully complete the isolation process which led to his supreme downfall, death. When isolated for a long period of time, especially in the wilderness, reality starts to fade away from you, but in Christopher’s situation, after being in the wilderness for so long, he starts to feel homesick and calls out for his mom in his journal, which shows that he is still somewhat human in his mind.
Jon Krakauer’s style of writing is really appealing to me. The way he started the book was interesting, it started with the last person that Christopher had an experience with, Jim Gallien, who eventually gave Christopher a ride to the Alaskan Bush, which would be his last stop on his journey. I also came to love how Jon makes you figure out if Christopher was a protagonist or antagonist for this specific book. Christopher has his own motives for what he did and why he did it, Jon Krakauer just puts his ideologies and beliefs towards what he believed was right.
This book would be suitable and enjoyed by the majority, but if i had to pick a certain group or groups of people, it would entice the ones who are bound by their own boundaries in the lives they live. Christopher is a perfect example of somebody who excelled in school, had a loving family, and a good network of friends, but still he had motives to go above and beyond that and the materialistic ideologies that came with it. This book would help you wonder why people do the things they do in their own lives, and if they choose to stay comfortable doing what is expected from them, or doing the unexpected that Christopher achieved in this book. In August 5, 1992, Christopher states in his journal “ DAY 100! MADE IT! BUT IN WEAKEST CONDITION OF LIFE. DEATH LOOMS A SERIOUS THREAT.” I believe the importance of that is the irony within it. He states that he made it to day 100, enjoyed by the idea, but he is the weakest condition of life, and death looms a serious threat. His idea of survival is in full effect, but just the idea of him knowing that death is around the corner is subjective to how it is understood.
All in all, this book is a must read! It has all the characteristics of a good novel, suspense, action, mystery, genuine human interaction, finding oneself in transition to another way of living, and also willing to give up everything you own, know, and believed in for so long, and willing to live life in the moment. Jon Krakauer’s storytelling is one of a kind and it shows through this novel. Short and sweet, 2 thumbs up!