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Mustakim Choudhury

2nd Hour
Honors ELA

Connecting to Chris McCandless

What if you had to answer a life-impacting question that you didn't know the answer to.

You had two answers and you had to pick one. You would be left with going with your gut to

answer the question. It turns out, you got the question right. People who often go with their guts

have a strong feeling about the subject they are dealing with. Christopher McCandless has two

strong characteristics that are similar to mine. He goes with his intuition and he is mostly an

independent person. Chris puts his intuition first when dealing with something. In John

Krakauer’s book “Into the Wild,” Chris is seen as a person who doesn’t rely on anyone and who

doesn’t like taking others advice. Chris makes many life-changing decisions on his own that

changes his path in life many times.

One situation where Chris relied on his gut to make the decision was when he decided to

go to Alaska. This decision impacted his life completely. Before departing to Alaska

“McCandless documented the burning of his money” (Krakauer 21). Chris’s instinct told him

that he was not going to rely on anyone or anything. He wanted to continue his journey

independently. My gut kicked in front of all my intelligence when I decided not to get a cat.

While this is not a major life-impacting the decision, this still relates to Chris McCandless

intuition because my life would be full of more happiness. Chris probably didn’t regret going to

Alaska, but both of our quick decisions affected our lives negatively. This situation of mine

helped me understand why Chris made the decisions he made. I understood that Chris made that

decision based on extensive prior knowledge and experiences. I instantly said no to buying a cat
because I saw an owner of a cat and their clothing had fur on it. This led me to make the

assumption that their house was filled with cat hair. Chris loves the thrill of adventure. He had

experiences dealing with his passion for adventure; such as when he camped on the edge of a

desolate plateau. This led to building the person he is and therefore adding to the decision of

going to Alaska.

McCandless was an independent person while traveling. Throughout McCandless life, he

was able to “go off and entertain himself for hours” (Krakauer 74). Although Chris wasn’t

antisocial, Chris was still to himself, he could be alone and not be lonely. Chris’s gut just told

him to act alone. As Chris planned his journeys, he planned for nobody else to be involved. Such

as when he was in Alaska he climbed alone. This kind of experience is similar to me as a person

because when I'm alone I can focus better and get more work done. In school, I noticed that I am

most efficient when completing work alone. This helps me understand that Chris McCandless

can be alone and be very efficient. The decision he made was by him completely and he didn’t

let anyone else influence it because of how independent he was.

Chris made many life changing choices and he had two very important factors making

those decisions. He focused on being independent and relying on his gut to make tough choices.

He had a very bright future through his parent's eyes. He received a lot of money to pay for his

college or a new car which is what his parents thought he was going to do with the money. But

he chose to donate all his money and he decided to instead travel. He didn’t want the help from

anyone. He demonstrated his independent self by not relying on anything when going to Alaska.

Also, he burned his money to show how committed he was in following his path. I am similar to

Chris because I am generally an independent person as well. When I make decisions, I don’t let

anything influence it, I solely rely on my gut. I am very independent when completing tasks and
I noticed that I am very effective this way. Comparing and contrasting me and Chris helped me

understand why Chris is so individualistic.