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Into The Wild Paper Essay, Research Paper

Courage is something that is extremely hard to define, because it is very different in every person. It can be demonstrated in a number of ways. A person could jump into an icy lake to save a child or they could stand up for what they believe in like MLK did. It is for these reasons that courage is very hard define. The dictionary defines it as: mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. By this definition it is obvious that one does not have to fight to be considered courageous. In the book, Into the Wild McCandless did show courage by doing what he believed in. In the next few paragraphs of this paper McCandless and how he was courageous will be discussed to a point of absurdity.

McCandless started off as a normal life and actually was heading toward quite a good life, graduating Emory College with honors. One day he donated as his life savings of $25,000 to charity and loaded his inadequate possessions into his used Datsun, and disappeared into the fringes of North America without a good-bye to any of his friends or family. He was a spirited reader of London, Tolstoy, and Thoreau, as well as other philosophers and nature writers. He particularly enjoyed Tolstoy, adopting his principles of severity, living a life of desolation and poverty. He abandoned his name and former life, introducing himself as Alexander Supertramp to the people he met during the two years before his death. His adverntures are fragmented together from letters and interviews with the people McCandless encountered, along with the occasional journal entry by

McCandles most likely knew that he may not survive his adventure, and to him it was probably what he believed in. It was because of his high education that he decided to partake in such an adventure. For the reasons that he was so into his readings he wanted to relate better to them. What way better to relate to them then to join there philosophy. McCandless decided to go to nature to understand what his favorite wirters, Tolstoy and Thoreau was speaking of. Without first hand information there is no way that he could really understand their writing. That is exactly what he did, unfortunately it cost him his life. It is obvious that he was willing and ready to take that risk. Taking that risk demonstrates his courage for what he believed in.

The true test of courage and bravery is unknown it can only be judged by onlookers and bystanders. Since I myself am a bystander due to having read the informative book Into the Wild I conclude that McCandless is truly courageous. He did what he had to for what he believed in. He never knew that a book would be written about his journey. Even if he did he most likely would have done the same thing he did, just because that’s what he believed in.


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