In the novel Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer demonstrates the rejection of materialism in the rawest form to uncover that a traditional society can often shape our views and shift our values. Chris Mccandless’s quest for a unique transcendent experience, shows the concept that society has an undeniable affect on ourselves.Transcendentalism in short is defined as the philosophical and social movement focusing around concept of nature and spiritual notes.
It also pushes away from society and the materialism within a society. An individual specifically that strives towards these Transcendentalist concepts is Christopher McCandless. He trips around parts of Northern America all while his actions continue to support critical Transcendentalist ideals; the action of leaving society, a minimalist life as well as deep respect for nature.A minimalistic life is an interesting and intense way of living. It requires getting rid of most of ones belongings, besides ones fundamental needs. Chris McCandless supports this life, the fact that he does not accept any kind of expensive/luxurious or materialistic opportunity/items. Within the book, Chris’s car becomes trapped in the remains of a flash flood that occurred. Instead of the natural feeling of devastation, Christ was actually excited: “He saw the flash flood as an opportunity to shed unnecessary baggage.
he arranged all his paper currency in a pile on the sand…and put a match to it.
One hundred twenty-three dollars in legal tender was promptly reduced to ash and smoke” (29). McCandless’s loss of his simple car left in a split second due to the accident which allowed him to get rid of a materialistic object that will subsequently make his treasured journey easier. McCandless often carries out the life of a minimalist consistently. Jan Burres, a friend McCandless met amidst his journey, urges him to take underwear and other various pieces of clothing to keep warm when he is almost ready to go for his quest: “‘He eventually took it to shut me up..
.but the day after he left, I found most of it in the van. He’s pulled it out of his pack when we weren’t looking and hid it up under the seat'” (46). Chris shows that close and trusted friends cannot deter him from his lifestyle.
He turns down what could potentially help him survive, to push away from materialistic items. His strong and hard headed way of going about his is simple, minimalist lifestyle in his eyes pushes him closer to the Transcendentalist figure, away from materialism prominent in society.Money is often a controversial thing that is in a multitude of ways a pathway to acquiring valuable/luxurious items, living extreme lifestyles and falling into materialism.
This explains Chris McCandless not wanting to waste any time to leave it in the past and destroy the money he had. His actions demonstrate his attempts in which he tries to push away from a life full of materialism and fall into a lifestyle that subsequently follow the critical requirements of transcendentalism. McCandless continues to follows a path of Transcendentalist life the entirety of this novel. Chris McCandless detaches himself from busy society, decides to live with only the bare minimum, and follows his heart which leads him to amazing things on his journey away from a world full and surrounded with materialism.