Sympathy of Chris Mccandless

12 December 2016

Sympathy Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer relates to the world the journey of the young and adventurous Chris McCandless. Chris was an intelligent, albeit arrogant, man who separated himself from society and travelled into the Alaskan wild to, in the words of Chris himself, “kill the false being within”. He persevered through months of the wilderness, but soon found himself trapped and starving. Chris eventually died there and was found shortly after, quickly generating publicity.

Many people who knew him and even more who did not gave young McCandless their sympathy, although some argue he is undeserving of it. Chris is, in fact, worthy of the respect and sympathy he has received. The things in life worth respecting are the things that make a difference. Even some of the people Chris treated poorly sympathize and mourn for him. He was by no means a terrible or crazy man; therefore, he is deserving of respect and sympathy.

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One might argue that all the things Chris did on his “odyssey” were unimportant and made little difference to the world. He did, however, change the lives of the people he had met. As chronicled in Krakauer’s book, Chris made such an impact on the people he’d encountered during his journey, they remembered so much about him years after he had left them, apparently. Ron Franz, a man Chris stay and bonded with for some time, even lost his faith because of his love for the boy. Chris had a huge impact wherever he went, and was an important person.

Krakauer makes an intentional point in his that Chris and his parents had a very “unhealthy” relationship. Walter, his father, constantly butted heads with his son. Strangely, after Chris’s death, Walt had transformed completely, out of love and sadness for his son who treated him poorly. The whole purpose of writing Into the Wild was Krakauer trying to show the world Chris was a normal person. He does so by comparing Chris other notable people who take similar journeys like hiss, such as Gene Rosellini, whom Krakauer interpreted as a crazy individual.

When contrasting Rosellini and McCandless’es stories, the author makes it clear that Chris’s odyssey was not as eccentric or extreme as Rossellini’s, as well as the other travelers Krakauer makes reference to. Chris might have been an outgoing and possibly a misguided youth, but what he did was not an act of evil, insignificance, or even psychotic. It was a journey the boy took in an effort to rationalize his irrational world. It was an act that by all means, deserves recognition. Chris McCandless deserves every bit of sympathy he has received.

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Sympathy of Chris Mccandless. (2016, Dec 04). Retrieved November 19, 2019, from
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