Into The Wild is the story of Christopher McCandless, who went into the woods because "he wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived", quotating Thoreau.
He seeked himself.
But apparently, to some people, that seems unadequate and stupid. Or a lack of common sense.
See what Sherry Simpson says in the Anchorage Press of this affair.
(From Wikipedia) "Mostly I’m puzzled by the way he’s emerged as a hero, a kind of privileged-yet-strangely-dissatisfied-with-his-existence hero.... For many Alaskans, the problem is not necessarily that Christopher McCandless attempted what he did – most of us came here in search of something, didn’t we? Haven’t we made our own embarrassing mistakes? But we can’t afford to take his story seriously because it doesn’t say much a careful person doesn’t already know about desire and survival. The lessons are so obvious as to be laughable: Look at a map. Take some food. Know where you are. Listen to people who are smarter than you. Be humble. Go on out there – but it won’t mean much unless you come back. This is what bothers me – that Christopher McCandless failed so badly, so harshly, and yet so famously that his death has come to symbolize something admirable, that his unwillingness to see Alaska for what it really is has somehow become the story so many people associate with this place, a story so hollow you can almost hear the wind blowing through it. His death was not a brilliant fuck-up. It was not even a terribly original fuck-up. It was just one of the more recent and pointless fuck-ups.
Wikipedia tries hard to show an image of McCandless totally helpless and stupid.
I guess, if we all did our own quests in the "common sense" way, they wouldn't actually BE quests.
If we didn't have a great deal of strong will to cope with our quests, no matter how erratic or wrongly-oriented they may be, they wouldn't be quests.
And No Matter The Results of these quests, I don't think they can actually be judged.
For if his parents can't be judged for the image of life they gave him, can his death be actually thought of as a pointless fuck-up???
WHO ON EARTH ARE WE TO JUDGE ANOTHER HUMAN BEING'S SEARCHES?
Is that humble enough?
Is it humble and of common sense to prevent someone of doing something according to one's point of view?
Aren't we rushing into the idea that he was actually willing to survive?
"Go on out there – but it won’t mean much unless you come back". Why?
WHY DO WE NEED HIM TO COME BACK?
Only because WE can't give HIS story a meaning in OUR heads? To frame his experience into what We would think of as a "succesful trip"?
English Wikipedia even forgets to write down his final "common sense" words:“I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God bless all!”
What if I were smiling and running into your arms? Would you see then what I see now?"
I find none of his quotes (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Christopher_McCandless) common sensed, and yet so full of life and meaning.
Can inspiration be judged in any way? Some of the gratest things in life are SO foolish that I wonder if anyone can play God with God's own intentions in revealing them to us.
I keep to myself Sean Penn's words regarding this:
"He provoked very necessary things in me. We’ve let the blade of our innocence dull over time and it’s only in innocence that you find any kind of magic, any kind of courage."