Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Ghost of Christopher McCandless

Christopher McCandless was an American raised in an upper middle class family who chose to leave the chaos of the "real world" and seek solitude in the wilderness. Increasingly introverted during his college years, he despised materialism and revered author and naturalist Henry Thoreau and realist fiction writer Leo Tolstoy. After graduating with honors, he donated his trust fund and went off to live a vagabond existence, despite protestations from his parents.

He found his greatest adventure in Stampede Trail in Alaska, of which he set off with no more than minimal supplies. He kept a journal during those months of enduring life in the harsh Alaskan bush- his entries ranging from euphoric to melancholy. He eventually decided to head back to the city, only to find the Teklanica river higher and swifter than when he last crossed it months before. It left him no choice but to return to his camp- an abandoned bus he used as shelter.

Towards the end of his days, he accidentally eaten seeds which were poisonous that caused him to become ill and weakened. Unable to hunt for game, and low on food stocks, Mc Candless eventually succumbed to starvation. It was only two weeks after his death that his body was found. He died at the age of 24.

The photograph above was a self-portrait of Mc Candless, found among the rolls of undeveloped film with his belongings. The last entries on his journal seemed to express regret- “Happiness only real when shared.”- was among his final realizations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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