#1 Chris McCandless is probably the most eccentric hero in the novel Into the Wild. The author describes him as the following: “wasn’t a nutcase, he wasn’t a sociopath, he wasn’t an outcast. McCandless was something else””although precisely what is hard to say. A pilgrim, perhaps”¯ (Krakauer Jon, p. 85). The vast majority of people described in the novel could hardly accept the life style and vision on this world. The same time the author does not want to depict Christopher McCandless as the one who is seeking his way, but could hardly find a suitable word that would perfectly characterize his style, vision and approach. That is why he is often referred to as either “delusional”¯ or “crazy”¯, but the same time he could hardly be called social pariah. The image of McCandless seems for the first look quite strange and even inattentive reader could think of him as crazy, but he is pretty different from the others that is why his motives lie deeply under the surface. The journey, having a deep spiritual meaning, could be considered as an attempt to escape from the realities and old life. But this is absolutely not true about Chris, as this trip into the wild could be referred to as an attempt to find himself, which could hardly be reached in the daily routine of the everyday life, that is why he seek for himself, but the majority thought he was just trying to escape.
That is why he refused from the career perspectives, which his parents forced him to, coming to the following conclusion: “careers were demeaning ‘twentieth-century inventions,’ more of a liability than an asset, and that he would do fine without one” (Krakauer Jon p.114). Chris is often referred as the modern pilgrim, who traveled in the ancient times for their fortune, believing that wealth is “shameful, corrupting, inherently evil”¯ (Krakauer Jon, p.117)
#2 Eric Hathaway was the one who got acquainted with such an outstanding man as Chris McCandless was. He spoke about deep spiritual forces that lived in Chris and the way he used these forces to motivate them. These words reveal the absolutely pure essentiality of the relationship Chris McCandless established with the self and tried to assist the others to reach more, leaving only good memories after his death. Eric Hathaway stressed on the deep spiritual values McCandless had and tried to share with the other men.
Chris’ mother Billie McCandless noted: “Chris didn’t understand how people could possibly be allowed to go hungry, especially in this country”¯ (Krakauer Jon, p. 3) and this outstanding vision on the natural resources and deep understanding of the country’s values left unforgettable heritage after him. His vision on the natural resources could hardly be compared to anyone else. JonĀ Krakauer could not stay aside of these personal values demonstrated by McCandless and the memories that are left after him in his family as well as occasional people he met and communicated made groundbreaking understanding of the values he tried to share.
Ron Franz said of him: “He had again evaded the impending threat of human intimacy, of friendship, and all the messy emotional baggage that comes with it. He had fled the claustrophobic confines of his family”¯ (Krakauer Jon, p. 55), stressing on the vision of McCandless who broke through the chains of reality, even being misunderstood and sometimes mistreated, he reached the aim very rare men chance
Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor Books, 1996.