Our society today is mainly based on knowledge of our surroundings. When traveling to places you are not familiar with can be difficult, and can sometime even be dangerous. Our society has also been very materialistic and we tend to focus more on ourselves rather then the trillions of other people in our world. Christopher McCandless/Alexander Supertramp, wanted to get away from today’s ways and he “no longer [wanted to] be poisoned by civilization” (Krakauer, 163) or be “unencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstracting and security and material excess, a world in which he felt grievously cut off from the raw throb of existence.” (Krakauer, 22) We may never fully understand why someone would choose to leave everything, and go off into the unknown. Possible it was so he could find himself. Maybe the only way he could really know who he was, was to remove him self from all that he has known and give himself to the hands of nature. Everyone is tied to nature in one way or another. Sometime the connection is so strong that they get lost in it. With any luck they will discover themselves.
When you get lost in the wilderness you can get lost in yourself. Many people, mostly teens, who feel like they are tied down, want to run off and get lost in the world. They see the outside world as freedom and an escape form the stress of the everyday world. Once people remove themselves from there surroundings, even if just for a little while, they can find out who they really are. Some people discover that the life they have isn’t actually that bad, yet there are some who find out what they really want out of life.
Krakauer can sympathize with McCandless because he too was a curious and free spirited youth. He believes that McCandless made a mistake about going off alone. He acknowledges that McCandless was not fully repaired for what he was getting himself into. If he had just down some research and was prepared, then maybe he would have made it out alive and be the one telling his story today.
Some people believe Christopher McCandless to be irresponsible. Yet to some, he was just a brilliant young man who went out to find himself. Krakauer thinks that “McCandless went into the wilderness not primarily to ponder nature or the world at large but, rather, to explore the inner country of his own soul” (Krakauer, 183). By saying this he is sympathizing with him. He might have a biased opinion yet he understands why others would perceive McCandless as unprepared, crazy, and ill-informed. I believe Christopher to be a bright and very motivated person. He knew what he wanted and set out to accomplish it! Even though he was unprepared for the wilderness, it had nothing to do with his age. People tend to think that young people are foolish and adults know better. But this statement is untrue. Every one grows and develops differently and at different times. For some it takes them forever to figure out themselves and to “grow up.” Then there are the others who grow up fairly quickly. People also find themselves in different ways. Christopher McCandless choose his way. It can be argued that he should have gone about it in a different way yet we can all agree that at least he was brave enough to want to break free and discover the ‘true’ Christopher.