After watching Penn’s film Into the Wild and reading a (mini) biography on Henry David Thoreau in Hull’s Infinite Nature (chapter 12), I am convinced that Chris McCandless was a modern-day Thoreau! Alright, get this: Thoreau abandoned everything to live a simple and frugal life in the forest. Chris (or Alexander Supertramp), abandoned his life as well to live in nature. Hull describes Thoreau as being a loner, and although I don’t know much on the REAL Chris, from the movie and from his notes he described his journey as being lonely; his only companionship being the people he encountered on his journey. In his books Walden and Walking, Thoreau explains the beauties and wonders that can be found from living a simple life and experiencing life in nature. Penn’s depiction of Chris’ life in the wild (ha!) is sort of Chris’ memoir of the same ideals that Thoreau had. Although I could go into more detail on this, if you want to see the comparisons yourself, you will have to read Thoreau and watch Into the Wild, take some notes, and see for yourself the reincarnation of one of the most influential naturalists!
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