The story of Christopher McCandless by Jon Krakauer is a manifest of a man’s challenge to himself and nature. Inspired by true events in the life of the 24-year-old person it is a testimony of the high values prominence. It is also the result of testing the will in terms of its strength and endurance.
The author of the book tells us a story about a young man, who after graduating in the year 1990 decided to travel into the wild areas of Alaska. The background narrates about his ceasing of the relationships with his parents and a great desire to explore himself regarding his efforts to protect his life and ask for more as well. He intensifies our imagination by saying the words which appeared to be his creed: It is not necessary to be strong but to feel strong. This saying intrigues people with the virtues of heroism and self-estimation. The hero demonstrates his ability to break with material amenities; it is described in his giving away all savings for $24, 000 to Oxfam as well as abandoning his car, burning all his money and cutting credit cards, saved in the wallet, and following the way of the heroes of many classics like Leo Tolstoy or Jack London. He is called a simple ladder who searches the sense of his life.
Here is the theme of the “natural man”, dying away with nature and its beauty. The reason is that Jon Krakauer explains Christopher’s endeavor from this point of view. He never criticizes his main character, which may cause public blame in terms of morality touching upon the disobedience to parents. On the other hand, it is a sort of “generation gap”, illustrated once by Turgenev in his novel. Continuing the tradition of W. Defoe in writing Krakauer pretends to illuminate the story of Christopher McCandless in addition to his article “Death of an Innocent”. His modern “Robinson Crusoe” chooses the way of wanderer not accidentally, he pretends to dig deep in the mystery of his would-be experience. He is a person of the quest, seeking for the exploration of his impulses in life he lives and the people surrounding him. He is an eremite of his desires and makes a straight try to work out where the roots of them are.
The movie based on Krakauer’s book “Into the Wild” and directed by Sean Penn tends us to compare the plot, scenes, themes, and reality of each source. Is it so taken-for-grants or makes us differentiate some details? – is a fair question to be answered.
Everyone is looking for self-expression in life. The adventures are the best thing to enlighten the problem of your inside discoveries. In the film, there is a picturesque interpretation of McCandless’s journey from South Dakota to Alaska. His trip keeps us thinking of the mature steps in planning the route of his adventure and the psychologically generated feelings of our awareness of the danger. The idea of such an invention in a man’s mind is displayed in both books and movies.
Another point is distinctive in fact of the events description manner. Following the features of the modernistic literature, one of which is the loss-of-conscience technique, Krakauer gives us a somewhat mixed picture of McCandless’s journey implemented in a non-linear manner. The other point is the way of depicting the main hero’s death as of the sort of potato he ate. Hedysarum alpinum, a historically esculent sort of potato (a so-called Eskimo potato) came to be the reason for his death, shown in the book. This standpoint differs from that displayed in the movie. Sean Penn designates McCandless confusing the seeds of edible potato with toxic one.
Such contradicting descriptions cannot but pay our special attention to the problem of opinion differences. As people say: “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” So the director of the film did not avoid some untested details. Thus, the movie certainly creates using visual impact the moments of Christopher’s feelings while discovering the nature of the US and Alaska, in particular.
As for me, the main objective of the hero is to realize, what he wants from life. At his age young people ought to choose the field of their interests to make it a current workplace. McCandless does not need such primitive and commonplace perspectives. The records of his own are the written statements of his physical and emotional barriers which he wants to conquer. That is why the main hero is trying to explain his big aim to the people, whom he meets on his way to Alaska, namely: Jan Burres or Ronald Franz.
The book is interesting in its true relation and the form in which it is written, as mentioned above. Being a McCandless biographer, Jon Krakauer seems to feel a great responsibility in indicating the way of Christopher not only graphically, but emotionally on the page of the book. The reader is nearly to vanish in the wilderness of Alaska while going through the events of the main character’s journey.
On the other hand, the movie fills us with the relevant outlook on the problem of communication with people and the pursuit to find answers within wandering and discovering the wildness of nature. As I see, this story provides us with a philosophical treatment of a man’s life. People do not realize their position in life and the dangers it enwombs. Man’s life is a concrete challenge to the nature, nature of people, society, and events influencing our minds.
Christopher McCandless is assumed by the author as an ascetic person, who tries to prevent faint-heartedness in his soul. Jon Krakauer attempts to explore the emotional and physical motives of his character and his being young. It is seen, for example, in Christopher’s to reach Devil’s Thumb in Alaska. All in all, the story is highly motivated in its plot, events, and hero description in both book and movie.