Portrayals Of Family Relationships In Into The Wild

1217 words - 5 pages

Into the Wild is the story of the smart, young and adventurous Chris McCandless who left his family and hometown in his early 20s to explore the wilderness. His story, filled with adventures across the continent (and border at one point), unfortunately comes to an end in his "Great Alaskan Adventure" when he gets trapped inside the Alaskan Tundra, eats paralyzing wild potato seeds and dies on August 18th 1992 because of starvation. McCandless had unique beliefs when it came to society. Ever since his death, many people have been inspired by his beliefs and have either gone into the wild or alienated themselves from society in a way. In an attempt to clear up all the confusion about the ...view middle of the document...

Walter himself says how he “[was] always to pull him back from the edge” hinting at how he was displaying his authoritative figure in Chris’ life. (Krakauer, 109) As another example, Krakauer goes beyond McCandless’ experience and compares himself to McCandless when it comes to father and son relationships. Krakauer explains how his father was a doctor and expected the best from him. Their relationship was strained during years of pressure from his father who wasn’t pleased with anything but perfection. Krakauer describes “Like McCandless, figures of authority aroused in me a confusing medley of coked fury and hunger to please.” (Krakauer, 134) He continues on with saying how even though he was surrounded by authority figures, he would pursue his personal goals no matter what. “If something captured my undisciplined imagination, I pursued it with a zeal bordering on obsession.” (Krakauer, 134) Krakauer brings his own life as a teenager to the table to compare with Chris McCandless’ story, showing another example of how an authority figure can try but won’t always succeed to suppress an individual’s dreams.
Sean Penn has a more extreme view on Chris McCandless’ family relationship. Penn believes that McCandless’ failures are all a product of his bad relationship with his father. About 53 minutes in the movie, we see Chris going through canyons and waterfalls to continue his journey as her sister, Carine, narrates and tells the story of the time when McCandless had found out about her father’s previous marriage “Dad’s arrogance made him completely oblivious to the pain he caused. [Billie and Walt’s] fraudulent marriage and Walt’s denial of his other son was, for Chris, a murder of everyday’s truth.”Penn uses Chris’ sister, Carine as the narrator to make his directorial presence known throughout the movie and this scene is not an exception. By having Chris’ sister as the narrator tell a harsh story about a sad childhood experience of her brother, Sean Penn shows the negative effects Walter’s arrogance had on Chris. In another scene near the end of his journey, Chris shoots a moose and tries to preserve the meat only to fail and waste the meat because of flies and maggots. During the time McCandless was throwing the rotten meat away, he was having a flashback to an old memory of his parents fighting and he seemed to get more angry whenever his father was taking an action. This scene shows Penn’s direct alteration of the scene,...

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