Into the Wild is about a young man who sets off into the Alaskan wilderness. He survives for a few months on his own, but dies of starvation after over a hundred days in the wild.
At first, I thought of Chris (known as Alex to so many of his friends) as a bit of an arrogant jerk, who was pretentious and far too in love with the philosophical teachings of the authors he loved so well and with little common sense regarding the practical aspects of this world. That being said, I still admired him for releasing himself from his material belongings and his money and striking out on his own.
As the book progresses, however, it becomes clear that Chris planned well. True, he suffered from a bit of youthful hubris which led to a strain on his relationship with his family, but he also had good reason to feel betrayed by his father. Yes, he made some foolish decisions here and there, but they were not the cause of his death. Ultimately, that was the result of a mistake that could have been made even by an expert.
On the whole, I rather liked the book. I learned about other explorers and tramps through the anecdotes which illustrated that Chris was merely following a longstanding tradition of travelers who went off on their own and survived (or sometimes didn’t) in the wild.
Review by Jessica A.