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sammi

Into the Wild

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i recently saw the trailer for the movie Into the wild-I have also read the book, from what I see from the trailer it looks quite good-the book was a great read

(side note-ok it is a sean penn project)

it is as I see it about a person who is a total individualist with specific goals and a (sort of) plan who is willing to risk everything

Looking forward to seeing this one.

opinions?

trailer:

<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758758/traile...play-E33388-314" target="_blank">http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758758/traile...play-E33388-314</a>

sammi

Edited by sammi

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it is as I see it about a person who is a total individualist with specific goals and a (sort of) plan who is willing to risk everything

Really? As I see it, it is about a person who probably had the potential to be a prime mover who instead became a total nihilist and followed that particular philosophy to its logical conclusion. Oh, yes, he did happen to go against society, and thus you could consider him an "individualist", but that is far from a primary and not at all always a good thing.

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A nihilist? If you think Christopher McCandless was a nihilist I don't think we share the same conception of nihilism. Nihilism is the philosophy that says reality contains no values what so ever and that what we think are values are just an illusion. Christopher McCandless clearly has values, a lot of them. His adventure inlcuding Alaska, freedom, all the people he meets etc etc...But it's fair to admit that McCandless was irrational to some exstent. His visit in Alaska was after all not well planned and it led to his death. Although you cannot deny that he lived a happy life, into the end. Achieving your own hapiness is the only moral duty of and the meaning with your life, thats what McCandless did achieve. The fact that he died at the age of 24 does not make is life less filled with hapiness. I think his life is a perfect example that proves the truth of the following quote: "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Abraham Lincoln. Furthermore, McCandless stood up against society, his horrible family and other evil norms. I think he was a great man that is admireable.

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He wanted to be away from people, but he didn't want the responsibility (for his own life) that comes with such separation from society. He seemed to think getting food in Alaska would be just as easy as a trip to the grocery store, ignoring all the human effort that was involved in making convenient food possible. "Where are all the fucking animals?! I'M FUCKING HUNGRY!"

Edited by brian0918

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I read the book and saw the movie.

Christopher McCandless was an odd duck, but doesn't deserve that superficial reading that brian0918 gives to him.

He underestimated the wildness and unpredictably of nature. He had planned for a long duration stay and had food enough for that duration, but when it came time to leave he could not because the rivers he had crossed were now running high and fast and cold. He found other food and kept himself alive in good mountain man/survivalist style until one day he misidentified a certain plant and cooked and ate its poisonous seeds. He had a botanical reference guide with him (he was prepared) and the correct species was just a few pages away from the page he left marks on. They were very similar plants.

Edited by Grames

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he was prepared

He didn't bring a compass. He also did not know how to properly preserve meat. Even a basic survival guide would have covered that.

I read the book and saw the movie.

As did I. You have to realize that the book and movie are both trying to tell a story, and do not necessarily reflect reality.

when it came time to leave he could not because the rivers he had crossed were now running high and fast and cold

Except there was a hand-operated tram 1/4 mile down river that he could have used to cross the river.

There were also cabins within a few miles that could have proved useful.

one day he misidentified a certain plant and cooked and ate its poisonous seeds

Except that's not true. "The book was published before the seeds' testing was completed by Dr. Thomas Clausen, the chair of the chemistry and biochemistry department at UAF. 'I was hoping it was true,' says Clausen, in his lab on campus. 'It would have made a good story. But the scientific results worked against my biases. I tore that plant apart. There were no toxins. No alkaloids. I'd eat it myself.'" Here's a more thorough discussion of the seeds.

The whole plant guide scene (in both the book and movie) was completely dramatized.

Edited by brian0918

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Well. Ok then. I didn't know there was such a controversy.

Still, his error was still essentially an error of knowledge. He overestimated what nature would provide and underestimated his own nutrition requirements. He persisted in his wilderness stay until the point of death, hardly the moral failure of shirking responsibility.

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The whole plant guide scene (in both the book and movie) was completely dramatized.
I hate it when movies based on some real-life incident do things like that which change the essential way in which one would judge the historical incident or the characters involved.

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Still, his error was still essentially an error of knowledge.

I can agree that this might be the case, though it's difficult to separate McCandless from Krakauer's interpretation of McCandless.

If you went based on Krakauer's analysis, then it wasn't simply ignorance. For example, regarding McCandless's desire for "being the first to explore a blank spot on the map", Krakauer states: "In 1992, however, there were no more blank spots on the map—not in Alaska, not anywhere. But Chris, with his idiosyncratic logic, came up with an elegant solution to this dilemma: He simply got rid of the map. In his own mind, if nowhere else, the terra would thereby remain incognita."

However Krakauer could just be dramatizing McCandless's actions. Especially considering that McCandless did have a map on him.

Edited by brian0918

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More information on McCandless's death has been uncovered. The latest theory is that he died of a toxic amino acid that was not known to be present in wild potato seeds, and is particularly debilitating to people in his particular state of health (young man, highly active, low caloric intake, no other sources of food). McCandless himself believed that the wild potato seeds were to blame (probably due to a noticeable downturn in health after consumption). If that is the case, it would have made it difficult or impossible for him to walk. So even if there was a tram nearby, he might not have been able to reach it. And a map would not have done much good if he wasn't able to move around.

 

Krakauer also acknowledges in the article that his prior false conclusions were rushed (i.e., that McCandless confused two different species, and then later that the wild potato seeds contained alkaloids).

 

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/09/how-chris-mccandless-died.html

Edited by brian0918

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