Into the Wild is a true account of Christopher McCandless’s foolhardy pilgrimage to his death in the wilderness of Alaska. Although he was clearly suffering from hubris, this passionate idealist was on a mission to understand himself and his connection to nature, in his solo journey under the alias Alex Supertramp.
There is no shortage of irony in this tragedy, as this young man who once had a dream of putting an end to world hunger, and even donated all of his savings to this cause, died of starvation. It should also be noted that for McCandless, his trip into the wild was an exercise in freedom, a sort of protest of society in a world full of rules and boundaries, only to come to his end “... trapped in the wild.”
There are many critics who accuse him of willful ignorance and arrogance in underestimating the fierceness of the Alaskan bush, and his ability to handle it with his limited experience. Although partly true, how many of us could say that we would survive even half of the experiences that he courageously conquered, all in the interest of pursuing his dreams?
In the end, along with countless others that he encountered in his travels, I am inspired by his story, and I will take with me his final realization after months of solitude, that "Happiness isn’t real unless it’s shared."