Great classic literatures have a universal quality.
In these texts we see universal conditions and attitudes than can be applied to ourselves. I believe the most important obstacle to overcome to reinvent yourself is just being honest. The classics of American literature like “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “The Catcher in the Rye”, “Fahrenheit 451”, “The Outsiders” and “Walden” all share something in common: truth. In “To kill a Mockingbird” the problem is racism, “The Catcher in the Rye” talks about struggling with loss and judgement through adolescent years, “The Outsiders” highlights the social classes we have in society and the inequality, and “Walden” examines simple living in nature. I believe that everyone has a special place and purpose for this Earth. Whether it is studying to be a doctor to save lives or studying to be a teacher in order to educate others: they have a purpose and a place.
Some may say in Jon Krakauer’s “Into The Wild” Chris McCandless chose to lead a life of Transcendentalism. Others, like me, prefer to conclude that Chris was born to be a Transcendentalists and to the best of his ability meet the standards of Transcendentalism. Two ideals that Chris was very adamant about, as well Transcendentalists tend to follow, was his unforeseen intuition to go North for Alaska and his strong sense of morality. In “Into The Wild” we learn about Chris McCandless hitchhiking across the country to Alaska and his motives behind this dangerous and fatal path. During this journey, he leaves his tiresome life as Chris behind and picks a new thrilling identity as Alex.
Chris McCandless or ‘Alex’ reinvents himself as a Transcendentalist for the reason of approval within himself to forgive others, and he starved himself of materialistic items for the reason he was already emotionally famished. Growing up as a privileged boy in a high class neighborhood with wealth, Chris had the cushion of ignorance from the rigid world around him until reality smacked him in the face. Chris came across the information that his dad Walt fathered another child but not with Chris’s mom Billie. Resenting his dad, Chris engaged on a rebellious adolescent stage lasting until his death. Walt McCandless comments in an interview with Krakauer that “Chris was good at almost everything he ever tried .
. . which made him supremely overconfident.” This description of Chris depicts his conscious lack of preparation for his cross country adventure. In “Catcher In The Rye” Novel by J.
D Salinger, Salinger takes us through Holden’s adolescence stage in his life. A traumatic event that occurred in Holden’s childhood has left him broken and unable to adapt to the changing world around him. He faces all these challenges of becoming a teenager but he himself does not want to grow up. He his torn between the world of innocence and the adult world. The innocence that he defended himself with hindered him from maturing and growing up.Relating it back to Chris, when Chris’s dad was living a double life, Chris was unquestionably enraged and carried this anger through his adolescent years.
The whole scandal made Chris feel like he was the reason that his dad committed such a treason. Chris never came to terms with what his dad did and never told anybody that he knew. He decided to express his rage through silence and withdrawal, he soon after left for a trip to Alaska but returned for his senior year of college. Carine McCandless recalls, “There was always a little wanderlust in the family, and it was clear early on that Chris had inherited it.” Chris was introduced to travelling on the road from a very young age. His father and mother were not available to him or his sister very often.
The energy at home was always very tense. So when they go on these family road trips they leave a tense environment and entered a peaceful break. Chris picked up on that comfort and maybe that is why when he gets too stressed or uncomfortable in society, he goes “into the wild”. This brewing hatred sparked Chris’s short fuse for a two year hiatus from which he was not going to return.