What might you like to say to Chris about how he went about exploring himself? RE: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
If given the opportunity to meet Chris McCandless, I would very much like to engage him in a discussion on how he went about conducting his life. Of course such an imaginary discussion would be with my insight of his life after reading his biography. As such, I realize that if we ever met, I would have to be very careful when speaking to him so as to avoid sounding like just another judgmental authority figure trying to critique his life. As his father Walt said, “If you attempted to talk him out of something, he wouldn’t argue. He’d just nod politely and then do exactly what he wanted” (118), or “Chris marches to a different drummer” (107), his third grade teacher said. To engage him in meaningful conversation would require supreme tact so as not to turn him off.
I would like to tell him that he possessed so much natural skill and intelligence, and he had the fire within him – a true social conscience, a rare commodity in this day and age – that a person like him, if he continued on to complete his law degree, could really make a difference in helping to solve what he called “the evil in the world” (112). By evil, he meant solving issues of world hunger, racism, social injustice, and poverty that he railed against continuously his classmates, parents and friends.
I would like Chris to know that his odyssey of freedom, though a life-expanding experience capable of testing his abilities, is selfish. Since he professed his desire to positively change the world, going so far as wanting to “join the struggle to end apartheid” (113) by smuggling weapons into South Africa and his attempts to feed the destitute surrounding “the seedier quarters of Washington, chatting with prostitutes and homeless people, buying them meals, earnestly suggesting ways they might improve their lives” (113), he would be better off by challenging himself to finish his law...