Jon Krakauer's book Into the Wild portrayed Chris McCandless as an energetic young man captivated with the concept of independence. He sought out the extreme challenges of life, the excitement of adventure and even relished danger. His journey away from civilization was to discover his independence. However his radical definition of independence excluded help, advice and the necessary provisions and information to survive. He fled the confines of his family and the pain of deception. "He evaded the impending threat of human intimacy, of friendship and all the emotional baggage that came with it" (55). To protect his agitated soul from any additional pain and suffering, he developed an overstated sense of his independence. The extreme distancing in his relationships prevented him from accepting assistance. .
McCandless was raised in a nurturing environment, he had the advantages of education and financial stability (108). However he rejected and rebelled against the financially affluent atmosphere where he was raised. When Chris discovered the truth of his father's infidelity, it shattered Chris' conception of him and the ideals, morals and values that had been instilled (122). Chris made the decision to keep the knowledge of his fathers affair to himself for two years, never braving a discussion with his parents (123). Instead, he expressed his rage obliquely, in silence and sullen withdrawal (123). Chris would never be the same again. His concept of respect and trust had been damaged and could not be reconciled within. He became more withdrawn and would ignore his fathers attempted admonishments and advice (122). He felt his parents attempts to give him advice or to help him were only efforts to interfere with his life. When Walt and Billie wanted to buy Chris a new car as a graduation present (20), he wrote to Carrine and made the statement, "I'm going to have to be real careful not to accept gifts from them in the future because they will think they have bought my respect" (21).