Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild"

Finished reading "Into the Wild", biography of idealistic Chris Johnson McCandless, written by Jon Krakauer. McCandless was a brilliant young scholar with Tolstoy and Jack London as his ideals. He loathed civilization and materialism and went cross country across the American Continent in search of peace taking the name Alexander Supertramp. His last frontier was in Alaska where he lived for a long period and ultimately died because of minor mistakes he committed in the harsh terrain. Krakauer has produced the biography with journalistic objectivity and he has avoided glorifying his subject. Chris's negative side of personality has been provided equal space along with his positive traits. His uncalled for hatred against his parents, his temper, his foolishness in rejecting proper gear to survive in Alaska have been presented realistically. How did Chris actually die in Alaska is a matter of controversy. Starvation seems to be the strongest reason for it. Hubris proved to be the doom for Chris as he went to the region without sufficient ration. He also didn't show patience in finding an escape route which was nearby. Chris was not the only person dissatisfied with the evil of modern world as Krakauer gives examples of other young Americans including himself. These anxious souls sought refuge in nature which is so pure that only higher thoughts come into mind in the lap of nature. But nature is cruel to those who ignore her reality. Chris did the same and perished. Had he have some inkling towards eastern yoga techniques, he would have survived. The movie adapted from this book is good as well.   

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