Thursday, February 24, 2011
Chris McCandless, an ignorant human being and a precarious survivalist
Chris McCandless is described as an idealist and a nature enthusiast but others see him as being arrogant or mentally disturbed. He isn't the only one of his kind either, "I've run into several McCandless types out in the country. Same story: idealistic, energetic young guys who overestimated themselves, underestimated the country, and ended up in trouble. McCandless was hardly unique; there's quite a few of these guys hanging around the state, so much alike that they're almost a collective cliche. The only difference is that McCandless ended up dead, with his dumbassedness splashed across the media" (Krakauer, 71). Chris tried to live up to an expectation of himself that he derived from literary works by authors like Jack London, Mark Twain, and Leo Tolstoy that he became "...enthralled by these tales, however, that he seemed to forget they were works of fiction" (Krakauer, 44). He was chasing this dream or fantasy where he would somehow invent his own story that seemed to come right out of a Jack London novel. The fantasy led him straight to Alaskan Bush where you wouldn't describe Mother Nature as forgiving. He chose to go to one of the harshest terrains in the country unseasoned with the arts of hunting, scavenging, and just plain surviving under such conditions. Chris McCandless was unprepared in more ways than one, "why would anyone intending to 'live off the land for a few months' forget Boy Scout rule number one: Be Prepared? Why would any son cause his parents and family such permanent and perplexing pain" (Krakauer, 71). His parents had to I.D. his shriveled, decomposed, sixty seven pound body and "Virtually no subcutaneous fat remained on the body, and his muscles had withered significantly" (Krakauer, 14) who in the right mind would think that this is okay? Maybe all or none of these things led to his death but one thing is for certain this young twenty four year old boy who had his whole life ahead of him, his death could have been prevented.