Katie Nature more…” -Lord Byron (Into the

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Katie JonesMrs. WhiteAP English Literature20 January 2018 Into the Wild Existential Examination The movie Into the Wild has a major theme depicted, Existentialism. The philosophical theory that every person is their own person who controls themselves and determines their own fate and destiny. They have complete free will and uncontrolled decisions, they are building, paving and making their own path. There are three main tenets of Existentialism in this movie, Existence Precedes Essence, Reason is an Illusion, People are Isolated and Alienated from one Another. All of these tenets play a very important role in this movie and how all of the events are laid out. The movie Into the Wild is based off of a true story and true events documented in a Journal by Christopher “Chris” Johnson McCandless, who dies at the age of 24. One of the first signs of existentialism is in the very beginning of the movie when it says, “There is a pleasure in the pathless woods; There is a rapture on the lonely shore; There is society, where none intrudes, By the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more…” -Lord Byron (Into the Wild) (00.31) This is a reference to the idea that every person is alone no matter what and the only thing to truly be there for you is nature. The first tenet of existentialism that is represented in this movie is People are Isolated and Alienated from one Another, it is the philosophical theory that there are no rules connecting humankind, every person had a unique meaning and their own experiences and they are dissociated from other people. As Christopher McCandless once said, “The core of mans’ spirit comes from new experiences.” -Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild) this is the idea that the core of everyman comes from their own adventures of self and not by the adventures of others, there is no correlation between peoples existence and and experiences. He also once stated that, “We’ve lost connection with the natural world, the farther away we get from the wild the wild.” -Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild), his meaning with this is, the farther away we get from the natural world where everything is based on self reliance the more we get into this sick society where people do messed up things to people who they’ve never talked to. He thinks that we should not be so cautious with this society with money, fame, power, and hate, but instead to go and live in the wild where there is no such thing as cautiousness. Christopher McCandless has the idea that people are their own individuals with their fates, destinies, and their own experiences. People are not correlated and connected through others actions or activities, people are their own with no connections societal or universal. They know they are there but they are individually themselves. Another philosophical theory of existentialism shown in the movie is Existence Precedes Essence, this is the idea that people are not determined by an essence but they are determined by the actions and activities that they do, they are determined by how they think. I the movie Into the Wild Christopher McCandless believes this same ideal that you are what you make of yourself, Christopher McCandless once said, “Two years he walks the earth, no phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom, an extremist, an aesthetic voyager whose home is the road.” -Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild), this was his idea of making yourself you by the adventures and experiences you have. He goes into the great land of Alaska where theres is no phones, no harmful products and no things that set you aside or give you the great title of high class. Christopher also mentioned, “The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon for each day to have a new and different sun.” -Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild), he was talking about how the thing that makes up us humans is our adventure, it comes from the new day and the experiences of that day that are new. He thought that you are not what your family was or what other people make you but you are what you make of yourself, through actions and experiences made. Christ also once said, “No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild.” -Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild) he here is saying that you walk away from this sick society to the wilderness and by yourself you will be better off, you will be alone without the sickness of the world and the destruction of power, money, fame and other things that make people different. Christopher’s idea of this started from his abusive father, his wealthy parents who wanted to get him everything new, Christopher just wanted to live without all of the destruction of the world. He decided that you aren’t what your parents or family is but you are what you make of yourself and the adventures you take and choices you make are who you are. The third tenet that goes along with this movie is Reason is an Illusion, this is the idea that


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