• I'm not sure that Chris McCandless will ever be regarded as a "hero," but he is a very admirable person. He had ideas about the world and he acted upon his beliefs, ludicrous in the eyes of many. Nevertheless, Chris did something that many people never have the courage (or time, money, and all the other excuses) to really do. He wasn't arrogant, but more humble in the presence of a bigger world in which he tried to find a place that sat right within himself. With Tolstoy and Thoreau as guides, he couldn't be too wrong, eh?
  • He did an awesome thing in a stupid way.
  • I think he should be respected for what he did. To journey across the states with no money and little supplies for 2 years is amazing. not only that, but he was a rich kid who gave up all of his money and possessions. Some poor people have a hard time giving up their limited amount of possessions but he knew that he didn't NEED any of that crap and neither do any of us. If there is one thing he did wrong it was the way he planned for his final trip but beyond that he is somewhat of a hero and definitely someone to be admired
  • He should be respected because he was brave and followed his youthful idealism to a level that most people wouldn't dare. It probably didn't hurt that he was never truly 'poor'. No matter what happened, he would always have the safety net of having wealthy parents and a college education under his belt. He should be criticized for the pain he caused his family, and the selfishness he showed towards them. His parents loved him and had worked hard for years to give him all the opportunities he was afforded, but he shrugged them off without even a "thank you, but this is something I need to do." He wasn't a hero, he was brave. He was smart but not wise. He went on a personal journey, and miscalculated the power of nature. If he had lived, we wouldn't be discussing this, and death does not make someone a hero. If he had brought a map with him, he would have lived. He rushed into something without good planning, for selfish reasons and died for it. He's no hero, but I do respect him.
  • I just finished the book and ...... I think that Chris might have been on a journey that he thought he could handle. And I would say that he did more than 99.99% of us would ever do! He had a strong will that got him in trouble in the end. I do not think (by reading the book) that he had a death wish or was trying to be a hero! He just wanted to do His thing and he was not properly prepared for the journey. We all need to learn from your dreams, dont be afraid and be prepared as much as you can. You will fail and that's ok! Learn from your mistakes.. I wish I would have encountered him on his journey.
  • Chris McCandless was not a hero, because he did nothing heroic. What he did was something few of us will ever be able to claim: he actually lived up to his ideas and ideals, his dreams and his goals. He pushed aside "money, power, [and] fame" for truth. The simple, inevitable truth that only nature can provide, due to it's being unobscured by man. He did indeed have a map, but it was outdated. When this world is becoming increasingly more urbanized and industrialized and capitalized, the only way to feel remote, lost, and in touch with nature is not to know you're stuck inbetween two highways and a few miles from cabins. So many of us talk, talk, talk about what people SHOULD do, about what we WANT to do, about how modern society is so materialistic and ignorant and selfish- but here we are, sitting at our thousand dollar laptops typing it to groups of people who we will never know, never meet. who will never be anything more than a screenname to us. what Chris McCandless did was defy society in an unconventional way that is only thought of as "crazy" because it is so outlandish in the minds of someone sitting inbetween concrete walls, in a luxurious bed, with a pantry full of food. "Who would give this up?" we ask. "Especially since Chris' parents were wealthy- why would he want to do this? Surely, he was an idiot. Already graduated from college and he's that dumb?" But here's the thing- that's probably what drew him over the edge. McCandless said something that will stick with me for the rest of my life, and is surely enough argument for anyone in opposition of his accomplishments: "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 dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of 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." These were his ideals. These were the things that despite what every other person may have told him, he lived up to- because in a world as corrupted as our own, what truth is there really outside of pristine, unforgiving, untrusting Mother Nature? As far as him going unprepared, perhaps the way he challenged himself was truly transcendental-- if you're detaching from society, so should you not also detach yourself from the products of society? Chris McCandless wanted to LIVE in the true sense of the word. For, in the words of Emerson, "we are always getting READY to live, but never LIVING." McCandless LIVED in the way perhaps God intended man to live-- in coexistence with nature, subject to natural disasters and merciless wildlife. If we are so concerned with "playing God," are we not altering our own lives by caging ourselves? McCandless isn't the only one who has desired to escape from such things- he's just the most well known so far. By the way, death does have a way of making people famous and turned into global heros. Hmm, let's think, oh I don't know, Van Gogh, Anne Frank, Thoreau himself, Gregor Mendel [contributed to the foundations of genetics], Emily Dickinson, Bach, Franz Kafka, the list goes on. So yes, plenty of famous people may have been nobodies had they not died. But point is, they did. And if that's what it took for the world to realize the amazing things they did and created, then that's what it took. We're a pretty apathetic society, conditioned to the extreme- so it takes quite a bit to grab our attention, don't you think?

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