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Christopher Mccandless - a Real-life Transcendentalist

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Society expects us to do our daily lives, someone is different than the others. Chris McCandless, in full Christopher Johnson McCandless, by name Alex Supertramp. He was born on February 12, 1968, in El Segundo, California. He was found dead on September 6, 1992, on Stampede Trail, Alaska. He fought to survive in the wild and becoming free from society. All through his adventure, McCandless met a few people who really needed to help and become a close acquaintance with him. In any case, he was so dedicated to his Alaskan Odyssey that he felt like human connections were only an interruption, not a need. What is transcendentalism? Transcendentalism means philosophy and a way of life. It consists of being a non-conformist, becoming one with nature, and rejecting materialism. Chris McCandless is an example of representing a transcendentalism because McCandless did not want anything else in his life except happiness the wilderness.

According to a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Whose would be a man must be a nonconformist.” Chris defined society, lived in the outside world, and never cared about it. He traveled to Alaska, and many other places. Chris burned and abandoned his money, which shows he’s a nonconformist. He also willing to show that he doesn’t want to conform with society by burning money, it shows that it’s useless. Non-examples are using the money, taking a job, taking his car, etc. These actions signify that he refuses to be materialistic and creative to society standards, but he chooses to live by his own path.

Another piece of evidence will be is “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.”- Thoreau. The author of the quote said he can learn from nature and nature helps him live. Many transcendentalists feel the same way. Chris relates to this, by wanting to go into nature for the same reason, to truly live and learn. This is another reason why many people think Chris McCandless is a transcendentalist.

Finally, my last evidence that explains to self-reliance. Of course, Chris McCandless largely refused this theory and tried a huge different idea, one that included living in the woods sometime. If you think of a teenager becoming an adult in America, they have to finish highschool, start college, and then starting a career later. Chris McCandless, though his journey ended in death by refusing a normal person’s expectations. With the end accomplishment for McCandless to stay alive, he should rely on himself and work for what he needs to survive in the wild. This represents self-reliance, he is working hard to keep alive and surviving in the wild.

In conclusion, Chris represents and shows that he was a transcendentalist in his life. This is a story to me is very interesting, it takes guts to talk to Alaska all by yourself and alone, but I imagine how tragic how it was for his parents worrying about him. The book that connects to the real world is that transcendentalism is a big part of our society and our lives, sometimes we don’t even realize we’re using it. But finally, this essay concludes my thesis that Chris represents that he was a transcendentalist.    

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Christopher Mccandless – a Real-Life Transcendentalist. (2022, April 29). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 20, 2022, from
“Christopher Mccandless – a Real-Life Transcendentalist.” GradesFixer, 29 Apr. 2022,
Christopher Mccandless – a Real-Life Transcendentalist. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 May 2022].
Christopher Mccandless – a Real-Life Transcendentalist [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 29 [cited 2022 May 20]. Available from:
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