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Chris McCandless and Into the Wild

            As a nave reader, one may be forced or compelled to side with the wits and the persuasion of Jon Krakauer's analysis of Chris McCandless. Through a surface level reading of Into the Wild one can be enticed by Krakauer's idea that Chris became a rebel due to the brash demeanor and inequitable expectations Walt, Chris' father, laid upon him. Krakauer leads the reader to believe that through his actions and each rule he set for Chris, Walt embedded the recalcitrant behavior into his son that was portrayed through Chris running away and entering "the wild-. However, contrary to Krakauer's surface level message, a more in-depth reading would reveal that Chris' intentions were never to rebel, in fact he had respect for authority as he showed all throughout his early years. He was truly more concerned with pleasing the ones he loved, learning from their mistakes and succeeding in the eyes of others. Chris' ultimate fear was failure. .
             In the beginning of the novel Krakauer introduces us to the people McCandless met along his journey. Through the descriptions and assumptions made by each of these peers, Krakauer slowly reveals the mind, thoughts and ways of Chris McCandless. Westerberg, just one of the many members of Alex's tramp family, recalls, "He wasn't the kind of guy who would go out and pick up girls just to get laid,"" and Krahauer reiterates, "It seems that McCandless was drawn to women but remained largely or entirely celibate, as chaste as a monk-(Krakauer 65). Chris feared that because his father made a mistakes with women, he may also fall astray down the same path of failure. Chris was not angry with his father for lying about his past, he was simply scared that his father's failure was now ingrained into his own life, and to others he may be seen as illegitimate therefore, imperfect. By staying abstinent and not letting a woman in emotionally, Chris believed he could avoid the inevitable path his father laid for him to follow.

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