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Into the Wild - Reader Response Essay

            In Jon Krakauer's "Into The Wild," Christopher McCandless possesses an understanding of modern day society far beyond most youth. In much the same way, I often find myself questioning many of the same issues as McCandless. Having been raised by parents who held the typical core value of "The American Dream," McCandless, instead, chooses his own path outside of societal norms because of his intrinsic motivation for self growth and education. Growing up in a family with parents who valued a hard day's work more than anything else, I have often pondered the same things as McCandless. I have always had an adventurous spirit, and growing up in Colorado allowed me to explore this aspect of my personality. Chris felt that his parents were forcing him down a path that he never wanted, and took drastic measures to avoid it. Believing that his parents' sense of materialism would be his downfall, Chris sought a much different life. Although I had always wondered about many of the things McCandless did, reading "Into The Wild" helped me to think further on the issues by offering an often unspoken position. .
             A key part of any adventure is in the novelty of the experience and in order to gain a new sense of self you must walk a path without knowing its possible outcomes. After graduating from Emory University, Christopher McCandless sought out to do just this. He not only had an adventurous spirit, but he also went beyond the lifestyle of the average person. Experiences like mountain climbing, hiking, and exploring throughout Colorado helped me appreciate the path McCandless took. I envy his dedication and thirst for adventure; however, Chris started his journey with little to no experience in outdoor living and it ended up leading to his death. Had Chris known the gravity of the situation he would eventually find himself in, I believe he would have entered the Alaskan Wilderness better prepared.

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