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Opinion

Natural escape necessary

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May 7, 2008

While reading Jon Krakauer’s “Into the Wild,” I realized how much we’ve become detached from nature as a society. Being in such a technological age, we find it easier to log on to the Internet in our free time than to go outside and enjoy the natural splendor of the great outdoors.

Chris McCandless may seem like a crazy, irrational character at first, but as I read farther into the book, I began to connect with McCandless’ alter ego, Alex Supertramp.

Not many people you know would leave everything to go on an Alaskan adventure, especially someone with a well-to-do background. McCandless was a wealthy, intelligent young man with his whole future ahead of him, who gave up a future at Harvard Law to escape into the wilderness. 

Sometimes I think that something made him snap, but maybe he was just tired of always doing what was expected of him, and wanted to break out of organized society.

In some ways, life would seem much more complicated living in the wild and having to fend for yourself, but in many ways it would be much simpler.

Away from the constraints and limits of society, one can live by one’s own rules. But without the rules of society, can we truly function?

To McCandless, getting away from his destiny and place in society was his paradise. I always wondered what he was planning to do after he returned from Alaska, or how long he was planning to stay there. Could he have ever found his way back?

Even though his trip to Alaska seems like such a drastic adventure, I think we can all relate to his desire to escape, whether it be to the backyard or across the country. Thoughts of escape consume students especially around this time of year, with papers, projects and finals piling up. 

With the weather getting nicer, it creates more anxiety and an increased urge of escapism. 

Don’t escape yet; but after finals, go and have your own “wild” adventure—just don’t get lost!

Natalie Conrad is a junior journalism and marketing communications major and French minor. She enjoys running,reading, writing, playing guitar, and traveling.