Into The Wild: Chris Mc Candless Is A Coward

1514 words - 6 pages

The distinction between whether an individual is to be considered a hero or a coward lies in their death. The difference is the impact, and the impact differs for a hero than a coward. When a hero dies, the magnitude of the impact on society is greater as society reflects on all the positive achievements that have been accomplished. Their death is more of a rebirth of a soul, the rebirth of hope. However, a coward dies many times before their actual death. The mistakes and tragic falls are considered to be these multiple deaths. “The valiant never taste of death but once”, a quote said by William Shakespeare. Throughout the novel of Into the Wild by Jon Krakeur, Chris McCandless is thought to be a courageous hero by many. However, it is not recalled for a courageous person to take on the role of a wanderlust knowing the result is highly fatal. Walt and Billie McCandless, Chris’s parents, have been making funeral arrangements for the last two days, but in a way, they have been making funeral arrangements for the last two years. That is how long it has been since they have seen their son. This tragedy has no one to blame, except for the young man himself. Chris ran away from facing all that was bothering him. It is understandable to feel immense pressure in life sometimes however, the way he went about dealing with this pressure broke the hearts of his parents and his loved ones and got himself killed. Chris Mccandless is to be considered a selfish coward because of the choices he made in dealing with the problems he had to deal with in his life.
Chris McCandless is a cowardly figure because he is exceptional at abandoning several people in his life, not just his family. People who Chris met on his journeys such as the Burres Family, Wayne Westerberg and Ronald Franz, offered condolences and stories about Chris, or, as they knew him Alexander Supertramp. Westerberg related how Chris worked for him in South Dakota, and how he was a great help, a hard worker and a truly admirable young man to everyone in town. When Westerberg asked him, out of real need, to postpone his trip to Alaska in order to help finish the harvesting work, Chris simply refused. (Krakauer, 67). He was intent on fulfilling his own plans, no matter what. There have been many stories of Chris humbling himself to people and families but he took a turn, only to disappear and break their hearts. Mr. Franz describes how “when Alex left for Alaska [he] I prayed [he], I asked God to keep his finger on the shoulder of that one. When [he] I learned what happened.. [he] renounced the Lord and... Became an atheist.”(60). For Chris to have such a profound impact on people, and then divert from them, is disgraceful. This is selfishness and cowardice at it’s penultimate. If he had given himself to any of these people, they would have been extremely grateful to him. However he did not see to truly care about them, because it was so easy for him to turn tail and run. Instead he got scared of...

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