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My favorite place in the world to be is underwater. My second favorite place is the front of a classroom.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Into the Wild

Would Emerson and Thoreau find Chris McCandless to be a worthy transcendentalist? Why or why not? Please cite at least one passage from your transcendentalist reading in your response ("Nature," "Walden," or "Self-Reliance"). Do you think his actions were noble? Foolish? Is there anything to be admired or reprehended in Chris McCandless? Be sure to read the other blogs before posting your response so that you avoid repetition and so that you can comment on others' posts.

30 Comments:

Blogger Sarah P said...

woohoo first comment!!!

anywho...i think that Emerson would find Chris McCandless a transcendentalist. I think that Chris sends himself on this journey to test his own abilities, not for anyone else but himself. He wants to test his limits and seek his own boundaries, to prove to himself that he has lived life to the fullest and not missed a single challenge. So i believe that Emerson would find him worthy because he writes about how one can only find ones power by testing those limits, and challenging oneself. he states this by saying, "The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried. "

I think that McCandless actions were in some what foolish, he was not at all prepared to go on this journey that he took, he didnt know a thing about alaska, other than that it would be one heck of a challenge. But i also thing that they were noble, he stepped way out of his comfort zone and took this path head on. He had a goal and he intended to accomplish it. That is something that i think many people can admire about him, he was very driven, and i dont think hw was going to stop until he died.

6:28 PM  
Blogger christine b. said...

I agree with Sarah in that Emerson would find Chris McCandless a worthy transcendentalist. Chris sought an ideal spiritual state, which in his mind was an adventure that was not spoiled with the corruption of money or material possessions. Emerson states that, “To go into solitude, a man needes to retire as much from his chamber as from society.” McCandless followed this by leaving his home, giving his family no way to trace him and giving up his wealthy lifestyle and therefore, retiring from society. McCandless also allows Nature to feed him and brighten his sorrows when he ventures into the Alaskan wilderness. Emerson would approve of this because he stated, “His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food. In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.”

I believe that while McCandless had good intentions in venturing into the Alaskan wilderness, he was foolish in doing so unless he wanted to die. Being alone, McCandless had little support for food and warmth. By meeting this adventure with excitement and enthusiasm, he also had a death wish because when a human goes against nature, nature always wins.
I admire McCandless for having the courage to take on a challenge that would almost inevitably result in his death.

7:45 PM  
Blogger J Hunt said...

I agree with the people in front of me that Emerson would consider Chris as a transcendentalist. Chris wants to, as the definition states; go above and beyond the perceived human limits. Most American citizens rely almost 100% on money because it determines the paths that their lives will follow. Chris is not concerned with this mold but rather seeks to go against the current and create his own life with his own standards. Americans as a whole follow the crowd, not that it is necessarily wrong in all cases, because they believe that if they do not, then they will be swept off their feet in the crowd and be thrown to the floor to be trampled. Figuratively of course! Chris wants to use his survival skills and not have to worry about careers or money or anything that goes with the American dream. He ventures into the most desolate place that he was near at the time: Alaska. What a great place to extend his boundaries! No limitations, just time, time, and more time to ponder the mysteries of life and dreams. In Emerson’s “Nature” he states that “All science has one aim, namely, to find a theory of nature.” I imagine that one of Chris’s goals of his journey was indeed to contemplate the theory of nature and creation. He wanted to better understand nature, himself, and more importantly his role in the bigger scheme of things and how he would impact society.

I think that his actions were not noble. The noble thing to do would have been to be up front with his friends and family and reveal his intentions. His actions were rash and spontaneous. His intentions are admirable. Personally it reminds me of the scene in Batman Begins where he is fighting against the snow and the wind to scale a large mountain. His task seems simple; to pick a flower and bring it to the top of the mountain. But there are hidden dangers and obstacles. It seems crazy that he would sacrifice his body for something as delicate as a flower, simply because a stranger promised him advice. But once he reaches the top, he is rewarded with shelter, warmth, and a good beating! He is whipped into shape during his stay there. In the same way, I think that Chris expected to outlast the elements, and reach a point in his mind where he felt comfortable with his surroundings. Perhaps the reason he did not tell other people was because he knew that opposition that would come. He knew that internally he was not as strong as he thought and that with enough persuasion, he would begin to doubt himself and abandon his journey. To avoid that outcome he simply left. He knew, of course, that spending time in the Alaskan wilderness, his mind and body would be whipped into shape and he would come to understand all the questions he had. Unfortunately the world is strong and he was not able to overcome the challenges that faced him.

8:48 PM  
Blogger J Hunt said...

That might be the longest blog i ever posted! Fun stuff!

8:48 PM  
Blogger Milt G said...

Well i think Thoreau and Emerson would most definitely find Chris to be a transcendentalist! I personally would never be able to give up all the material possessions i own, and just go out and live in the wilderness and hitchhike my way through the country. I could never leave my family for the rest of my life because i could not deal with it. Chris, however, finds a way to transcend his family, friends, and possessions. Even his money from his wallet he burned. I think that the only way a person could do that is if they truly have their eyes set on a goal in which those things mean absolutely nothing. I think that in some ways what he did was noble because to not have any attachment to material possessions is something we should all strive for, but few people will ever actually achieve. I think that a lot of it was foolish. It is good to give up possessions, but you should never give up your relationship with your family no matter what. Family is one of the most important things in the world and you should never give up seeing your family willingly.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Kyle N said...

Chris was a total fool to wonder into the Alaskan wilderness. What did he expect to find there, with no money and no food? Not only did he end up killing himself, but he gave no thought to the pain he caused his family and loved ones that he simply left behind in the dust. What a selfish, thoughtless, and most importantly, stupid individual. This is harsh but I truly believe he had it coming to him and he desevered what he got for venturing into something like the dangerous Alaskan wilderness so foolishly. He is now dead, and for what? For some childish fantasy of "having an adventure". Foolish. Foolish. Foolish. Stupid. He let everyone in his life down, and then he left them to mourn over his self-imposed death. I feel no sorrow or pity for what happened to him. And, relating to transcendentalism, he would not in any way/shape/form be a good trancedentalist.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Jordyn S said...

It is my impression that Emerson would consider McCandless to be a transcendentalist. In "Nature" Emerson talks about seeing stars, and how they are beautiful and seperate men from vulgar things if they are appriciated. As if simply paying more attention to the beauty of nature will enlighten and mold a person because they will learn to appriciate it. Emerson also seems to touch on the innocence that is lost over the course of growing older, as children embrace the sunlight with thier whole heart as well as their eyes while adults simply see the sun, and have a distorted, apathetic preception of it. "Self-Reliance" discusses a lot of what someone must reflect with their actions, not with words that are virtually meaningless, and that one never knows what they can accomplish until they try. Chris decided to try and rely on simply himself, and he accomplished quite a great deal if you look at how long he survived on hunting/eating plants. Emerson says "The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its adversion." I find this extremely true of present day society as well. Everyone seems to be trying so hard to fit in, and to be noticed and in a category whether we want to admit it or not, we all desire to feel as though we belong, that we are a part of something. While this may just be adolecence, it seems important now, to some it is more important than others, and there are probably a very select few who truly don't care. Chris was one of those people. He may not have known it his entire life, but when he started figuring out that regardless of how strange or intensely unappealing it seemed, he had to stop depending on everyone, or at least stop feeling as though he depended on everyone. The only way for him to validate this to himself and to escape these feelings was to isolate himself, to prove that he could really be self-reliant. I find his actions extreme, but still noble. As Arapahoe High School students, the majority of us live quite plentiful lives, and I'm pretty sure that most of us wouldn't be willing to give it all up to go get lost in the wilderness of Alaska. At the same time, some just need to move on a little bit, this is time for maturation, and still being attatched to the hip of your mother is certainly just as unhealthy. The key is balance. There has to be balance in everything, you can fit in, you can have your group of friends, but make time for yourself. If you surround yourself too deeply with everyone else's desires, you feed into their conformity and will end up losing more in the end than you bargained for.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Spencer Z said...

Both of the Jord(a/y)ns had excellent comments to this post, however I feel that Kyle is denying the concept of Transcendentalism. Kyle mentions that McCandless is foolish and yet, as Emerson writes, "whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist." I find it rather ironic that Newman so crassly berates his choices when I believe he would call himself a noncomformist.

Kyle's sentiments aptly reflect that of society as a whole. Kyle seems not to understand the choices McCandless made, but according to Emerson, "To be great is to be misunderstood". Simply because he did not fit into our societal standards, that gives no right to anyone to openly berate his decisions. Where I differ from some of the others here (and perhaps even Ms. Kakos) is that I believe that we can hardly classify his actions as foolish, as many have, or even as noble. They were, in short, his actions and it is not our place to try and define them. Attempting to define his actions is by its very nature an act of Rationalism.

What is admirable about McCandless, is that he pursued his dreams and that which would help to make him whole. We should all be so thoughtless and pure as to act in this way and Emerson and Thoreau would no doubt agree.

10:34 PM  
Blogger clay w said...

Emerson would find Chris McCandless to be a transcendentalist. Emerson once said that "Undoubtedly we have no questions to ask which are unanswerable . We must trust the perfection of the creation so far, as to believe that whatever curiosity the order of things has awakened in our minds, the order of things can satisfy." The meaning of transcendentalism is the seeking and yearning for something more than the answers given to us in the order that their questions are. This is exactly what Chris did. He had heard the questions. Whether they had been presented to him or he had found them on his own, the point is that he wanted answers and he wanted them in his time, not theirs. He was making a statement to life's questions that he wanted answers in his own agenda. He told those questions that they were going to give him their answers when he wanted them and not at any other time.

His intentions were noble. His objective was simple: tell life's mysteries that they were going to give him answers and they were going to do it now. The way in which he set out to do this was the epitome of foolishness and arrogance. He was ill-prepared and in way too far over his head. He wanted answers to mysteries, but he needed to research how to find those answers first.

11:11 PM  
Blogger OfAThousandSuns said...

They would indeed find Chris to be a worthy Transcendentalist. The passage that states “To go into solitude, a man needes to retire as much from his chamber as from society.” shows that Mcandless was a transcendentalist because he removed himself from society and everything in his life. I think that his actions were understandable, not noble. Because noble would have been for a greater cause, as opposed to his relatively selfish one. However, I do sympathize with Chris' views on money, in that too excess, it is the very root of evil and drives many men to acts of unbelievable selfishness and greed.

9:20 AM  
Blogger nathan a said...

To begin with I think there is no question here. No one disagrees that rejecting materialism and/or giving to charity is a bad thing. However, very few people would agree that getting killed in the wilderness due to lack of preparation is noble. I was stunned at the way an “objective” news broadcast presented his mistakes as heroism. There’s no debate here, life is too valuable to be thrown away like that. This is why, even though I think Emerson and Thoreau0 would consider him a transcendentalist, his actions also have a basic contradiction to transcendentalism. Transcendentalists believe in the value of an individual, so why did he treat his life, and the lives of his family members with contempt? Though Chris fits the definition of a transcendentalist, Emerson also states that, “Then, there is a kind of contempt of the landscape felt by him who has just lost by death a dear friend.” Secondly, I disagree with Spencer. I don’t think it is wrong to condemn actions. I agree that we shouldn’t be judgmental of a person, but it is OK to condemn the action of (for example) murder. To challenge society, in fact, is to condemn the actions of the people in it. If rationalism means that we can condemn racism and progress past it, then I’m a rationalist. Man on his own is worthless and as was said by another in class, it takes more courage to change society then to run from it.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Spencer Z said...

In light of Nathan's comment, perhaps I should rephrase my post.

I meant to say that it is not our place to judge others for the decisions that they make for themselves. Perhaps one might argue that Chris tainted the lives of his friends and family, but his choice was his own, and his actions did not directly affect others in a negative way.

As pertains to the idea that Chris ran from society, this is preposterousness. What would Chris have had to run from? He was on the fast track to success, but he gave it all up to pursue something purely desired by himself.

4:53 PM  
Blogger emilee p said...

I believe that Emerson and Thoreau would undoubtedly find Chris McCandless a transcendentalist because he lived out his dream and found himself. Emerson wrote that “envy is ignorance; imitation is suicide,” I agree with this statement in the fact that each and everyone of us is an individual (although some are afraid to show it). People must realize this and break away from the norm, but not for the reason of just becoming a non-conformist, but to really and truly find themselves. I agree with Spencer when he says we cannot classify Chris’s actions as foolish or even heroic, because they where his individual choice. However, I think that Chris mainly had an impact on people who heard his story, only because his decisions ended in death; If Chris had lived I believe that his story would most likely be left untold. But what if he did survive and leave Alaska? Would he actually leave?
I believe that Chris lived his life to the fullest, when many who live much longer lives cant make this achievement. I don’t think that it is tragedy that his life ended.

4:58 PM  
Blogger kaitlinb said...

I agree that Emerson would find Chris a transcenentalist, I believe that because he finds his own way of life away from government. His actions are noble, though, as Milt said in class, they do not help others. Yes he gave money, but a lot of people in the world have givin money but just because they do that does not make them noble. Sometimes money does not define generousity. As it said in the passage last night against government control, a life without government is a better life. If that is transdentalism then that means that Chris is transcentalist because he did that exact thing. He left the typical government. It also says that man has to be ready to except it and I do think he lacked that.

5:20 PM  
Blogger EmilyL said...

In response to Spencer's comment that Chris' actions did not affect anyone in a negative way:

To me, the pain that Chris' parents and sister went through during his absence and after the discovery of his body are definite negative repercussions for his actions. Yes, Chris felt that it was necessary for him to end all contact with the outside world, but that does not give him an excuse for so abruptly dropping all connection with his family. If he felt that he needed time away from the world, he could have had the courtesy and the decency to inform his family about his decision. Instead of sending them one last letter stating that they wouldn't be hearing from him for awhile, he attempted to disappear from sight. To me, this action undermines any "insights" Chris might have gained in his trek. Regardless of how enlightening his journey was, he demonstrated great selfishness by deciding that this last adventure was more important than the family that cared for him and supported him.
Was his journey into the wild really worth the heartache and grief he caused his family? I think not.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Lauren F. said...

I do believe that Emerson would find Chris to be a transcendentalist because he went above and beyond what is considered normal and everyday. It was his way to find who he truly was. Yes, he did worry and hurt his family in the fact that he left them and pretty much forgot about them in his life journey. He did make a few foolish mistakes, but he wanted to get away from our society. His courage should definately be admired because in order to do what Chris did, takes a lot of strength and will.

Like Sarah said, his intentions to find his true self were good, but the pain he burdened his family with was the foolish part. But, I also don't think that his actions should be considered noble because of the foolish mistakes he made along the way. He didn't bring a sufficient amount of food or clothing or the necessary survival skills with him to Alaska.

I think that Chris wanted to prove to the world that he did not have to be in uniform with everyone else, like "the set out path" of today. He did not succeed in this, but he was trying to prove his beliefs.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Alyssag said...

Wow. I would first off like to say that the dicussion we had in class today was pretty darn deep. It really opened my eyes to different interpretations of trandscendentalism. In a way, I think that this trandscendentalims is mainly questioning the fulfillment of life and how people spend their precious time on Earth. People are so afraid of living life to the full and concentrating so hard on making the best lives for themselves that we forget the simplicities of life. I think that we work most of our lives only to buy matierilal things that we think will fill our lives with joy. What transcedentalism keys in on is that we need to stop TRYING so hard to get the most out of life and enjoy nature and the pure things in life. I think this is exactly what the story "Walden" was saying. It says, "Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the resst. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!" This stroy is stressing we spend too much time on detials, and not enough on the big picture. I would think that Thoreau would classify Chris as a transcendentalist becuase Chris left behind all the details of his life, and went into the wilderness, prooving that he could live without the cayos of life and could survive on the simplicities of nature.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Alyssag said...

PS. I agree with Emily on some accounts about him leaving his family. I am sure that his absence cuased much grief within the family, but I believe that once he was found, his sister understood his purpose for venturing out and leaving. She knew that he had lived his own personal life to the fullest that he could have, and lived more than a man of "90 years old". I think that once his sister recognized Chirs's purpose in leaving, it was in a way, uplifting to her.

7:24 PM  
Blogger JordanL said...

I think that both authors would consider Chris a very worthy example of a transcendentalist. Both authors talk about nature and challenging one's limits. Chris set out to fulfill an empty spot in his sole and ultimately gave his life fighting for the challenge he set for himself. I liked the quote from the movie that said he got more out of his 24 years of life than most people get from 80 years of life. I think that really shows Chris lived his life to the fullest possible.

I think his actions were both foolish and admirable. He set out for an adventure that in on way was he prepared for and got in way over his head. I think his choices were some what admirable because he did something that no one else would ever consider doing and that most people would have the courage and will to do. I agree with Milt in the material and family aspect. I don't think the vast majority of people would be willing to drop everything and give up everything they have ever worked for to go on an adventure. One of the most valuable things in life is your family and I wouldn’t be able to give all that up.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Kelly O said...

I agree that Emerson and Thoreau would find Chris McCandless a transcendentalist. Chris was trying to live his life to the fullest and not miss a challenge. Emerson would find him a worthy transcendentalist because he left everything in his secure life to venture into the wild to prove his own abilities to himself. In "Self-Reliance", Emerson writes, "The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried."

I don't think Chris's actions were noble at all. They were very foolish. He was not at all prepared for challenges he had to face living on his own in Alaska. My dad read the book about Chris, and in the book it says that while Chris was weak and dying in the bus, he was less than 4 miles from cabins that would have had supplies that could have helped him. If he had simply brought a map with him, he would have seen the cabins and been able to walk to them before he died. I don't think his actions were noble because he did not tell his family about his plans to go to Alaska. I think its great that he went on his Alaskan adventure, but he should have told his family rather than leaving suddenly and changing his name.

8:34 PM  
Blogger EmilyL said...

Just realized that I didn't include a citation from one of our readings.

Emerson writes in Self-Reliance that "nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind." If Chris and his journey are viewed in this light, then yes, I would say that his was a transcendental journey. That being said, I do not think that his ideas were the best approach to transcendentalism. It is possible to still embark on such a journey without hurting others in the way that he did.

As human beings, we desire interaction with people, and this element of communication makes each of us more rounded and, in a sense, complete. Our class discussions are a good example of this: the majority of our class would probably say that the discussions open their minds to possibilities and ideas that they had not previously thought of. If human interaction is so vital, then shouldn't transcendentalism still appreciate that interaction? And if a "transcending" journey deeply wounds those close to us, is it really justified? Chris' adventures should not be held up as an example of a positive of transcendental journey.

9:06 PM  
Blogger mackenzieL said...

I definitely think that Thoreau and Emerson would think Chris McCandless a transcendentalist. Many people are content, or appear to be, with their cookie-cutter lifestyles. Chris was not content to have such a future. To be able to discover himself, to be able to strip his character down to the bare bones and find who he truly was became too much of a temptation. Chris had to transcend more than even the "adventurous" do. This is very much like what Thoreau did when he went to visit Walden Pond to find out the bare facts of life. He wrote of his journey, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived." Both Chris McCandless and Thoreau went on journeys to discover the bare facts of life, and thus I think that Thoreau would think that Chris was a transcendentalist. Emerson believed that for anyone to make a speck of good in the world, they have to find themselves and work at their lives until his "life's wishes" are fulfilled. He wrote, "...No kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but though his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till." Chris decided to take the step to toil at his "plot of ground", or his life, so he can feel that he has added something to the world.

I don't think that Chris' actions were either noble or foolish. Contrary to Kyle, I definitely do not think they were foolish! Instead, I think that Chris' actions were admirable, mainly because he took the step to do what he wanted to do and persevered through everything that came in his path.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Michelle S said...

In response to emilyl, just by watching the video, Chris's sister seemed to accept what Chris had chosen in his life. I'm sure Chris's family suffered in some way, as all families do when unfortunate circumstances abound, but it seemed like Chris's family respected his actions. Chris took this journey not to wound his family, but to discover his own identity. I think that's a personal choice, and I don't think his family could do anything to change that, even if they tried.

I also agree with spenzer z's comment. I don't think we can call Chris's actions noble or foolish, because by the very nature of transcendentalism, it is fruitless to label them.

I admire his intentions, but I think carried out his plan the wrong way. Spontaneity is very well idealistically, but at some point there must be some organization. Chris should have been a little more prepared for his journey. You can be self-reliant even with modern conveniences--I think Chris was going to the extreme, trying to survive with very little to survive on.

3:10 PM  
Blogger nathan a said...

Regarding the sister, do you really think she is going to criticize her brother, much less on international television? When someone you care about dies you don't trash their name. The sister understandably focused on the good, and she should focus on the good. Chris died a lonely man as was written in his journal. Chris himself regretted his actions. I disagree with the transcendentalist author that they kept interviewing. Chris stopped calling himself "super tramp" because he realized the situation was grave and wasn't going to fool around anymore. He became all buisness too late. Yes, there was good in him, and his sister was right to focus on that. However, we can't assume that his sister was benefited in any way.

8:45 PM  
Blogger shannon a said...

I totally agree with Christine.I feel that Chris is a worthy transcendentalist. Chris feels that he needs to issolate himself form everyone to be able to find himself. "Chris sought an ideal spiritual state, which in his mind was an adventure that was not spoiled with the corruption of money or material possessions" (Christine)Chris felt that money was corrupting him and felt that money controled himand he needed to be able to be free and ce able to control himslef. To be able to find this spiritual state he has to test him self and seek his own path.

"To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamer as from society" (Nature) This quote is saying that to be happy and at peace a man needs to get away form is home and society. Chris did this he needed to get away from everything and he did. He needed to retire from what was controling him.

Even though his intentions were good and made a point they were foolish. "By meeting this adventure with excitement and enthusiasm, he also had a death wish because when a human goes against nature, nature always wins." (Christine) I totally agree with her, he was excited he did what he needed to do was worth it but foolish because being out there nature was going to control him and his actions.

6:57 PM  
Blogger shannon a said...

p.s. sorry it was so late my computer was not on my side for a few days did not let me do anything

6:58 PM  
Blogger ryan f said...

Sorry to blog so late, my internet has been down.
As for me, i completely agree with Jordyn S. Chris is defiantly a transcendentalist because like the definition states, Chris was going above and beyond the perceived human limits. In "Self Reliance" Emerson discusses the tendency to conform. "The virtue in most requests is conformity. Self-reliance is its adversion." I think that this quote defiantly prove Chris to be a transcendentalist. He went above and beyond what the world thought was possible and survived in the Alaskan wilderness for more than 100 days. Conquering such a feat is already amazing, but the fact that he did it with nothing but himself, proves Emerson right on his thoughts about self reliance. Chris felt as though he had to prove himself to someone or something, so he went out into the wilderness, but when he realized what he was doing, he knew that the only person he was trying to please was himself. He took the challenge as though it was a right of passage. In today’s society, considering Chris’s challenge occurred less than 20 years ago, there is nothing that says when one can consider them self reliant. No one told Chris that this was something he needed to do, or that Chris couldn’t do anything without first surviving in the Alaskan wilderness. He did it for himself, which almost validates the notion that Chris was a transcendentalist in and of itself. He went above his limits, for himself. Chris lost his life after 107 or 108 days, which to most people is very sad. I think that Chris died happy; he did what he thought he needed to do to validate him in society. He relied on solely himself and proved to be self reliant, Emerson said that self reliance is adversion, Chris wanted to be different.

8:24 PM  
Blogger J Hunt said...

Go Broncos

12:07 PM  
Blogger linda mac said...

I truly believe he was on a suicide mission. I believe he was depressed, did not know what he really wanted to do with his life. He drove his car off the road, lucky he did't die with that, (I think he was hoping to). He goes into the wilderness so ill perpared, I think he knew he would not come out alive. He had been out there for 2 years and all of a sudden eats the wrong berries and roots? I think he did that on purpose knowing full well the outcome. He finally realizes the only way to have true happiness is to share it with someone, and when he tries to go back, he can't cross the river, the only way he knows to go back, thus he retreats and chooses to end his life himself. As far as being a hero or some kind of a role model, I beg to differ. He goes out to Alaska with such angst and a pompous attitude, yet he lives in a bus? How convenient, he does not truly have to fend for himself after all as he had tools, and shelter and all that he despised from society, what a hypocrite. He would have died the first winter out there, and once again, someone other than himself provided for him and he took it! If he really wanted to live this adventurous life he claimed was his mission, he never would have lived in that bus. I find him to be spoiled, self righteous and far from admirable. Great movie as it makes one think, but do not put this 'child' on a pedestal.

8:03 AM  
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