I have a little brother named Brock. He means the world to me. However, he lives with my dad. I stopped living with my dad about two years ago after a huge fight between him and I. During our fights at his house, I would run outside and go walk in the field behind the house and dream of running away; because maybe his perspective would change. I respect and support Chris McCandless in his journey; not just because I relate to him, but because he did something that I never got to do. Before his journey he was filled with “trauma, frustration, and pain.” Chris was told that It was his fault; so he left. During Chris’s journey he took many photographs and met many people. Throughout the photos it is clear that in every single photo he is smiling and happy. The pictures before his journey showed in the film Back to the Wild had pictures with Chris, but not one had him smiling. Chris has a heart, dreams, motivations, desires, and guts.
Although Chris was selfish for leaving his sister and mother, I believe Chris did what he felt he had to do. A romanticist writer, Thoreau once said “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.” Chris was not like anybody else in the family, simply because he did not stay. Throughout Chris’s journey he met many different people such as Jan Burres who said “He had the best smile, the best smile I had ever seen”. Amongst all of the people that Chris had met not one of them disliked him. Chris had many different beliefs one of them being that money was not important. When Chris’ Datsun was flooded he took what he could fit in a backpack, burned his money, and left everything else. He is not materialistic like most of us, he is for himself he follows his own footsteps and I respect that. He also had many different viewpoints as well such as the incident where he did not do his paper the correct way because “he thought it was a stupid rule” and I respect that as well.
During the long journey of Chris’ he worked hard for strangers to somehow earn a place to live and food in front of him: “A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best.” Chris made it through highschool and college protecting his sister before his journey. He told Corinne “ I [he] will come back”. So he never planned on completely leaving his family. Chris was a caring, and compassionate person. As I mentioned, Chris met a lot of people along the way; one of them being a man named Wayne. Wayne was very close to Chris almost like the father Chris never had. Chris had made a promise to write everyday to remind Wayne that he was okay but once he warned Wayne that he “might not survive” and that he was walking out “to live amongst the wild”.
Many people might say that Chris was arrogant, unprepared, and stupid. But Chris was human. He was a living, breathing person who went through trauma and pain and hurt from his own father. His mother once called in her seven year old son saying because of Chris she “was stuck with him”. Chris at a young age had to live with that guilt and feel the heaviness of his mother’s pain thinking it was all his fault. I personally, know how it feels to have heaviness and pain from someone else and feel at fault for someone else’s pain and it does not feel too good. I wanted to leave I wanted to get out and run away but I knew I could not. I knew I could not just leave everything I had and loved for one person who made me feel like crap. In Chris’s final note he explains how much his life meant to him, he went from being miserable to following his dreams: “I have had a happy life and thank the Lord, Goodbye and may God bless all”. He was smiling. Chris McCandless died smiling.
I have so much to say relating to the story of Chris McCandless. His journey is filled with so much hope and fight. I feel that the story can be used as an inspiration for people all around the world battling their own wars and wanting to just get out. Chris had met and impacted so many people around him through photos, personal interactions, and his journals. Chris followed his heart and made his own footsteps on the world instead of just deepening other people’s. Not many people can do that. I respect Chris and the decisions he made.