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Movie Review: Into the Wild at Three Roads Blog
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Movie Review: Into the Wild

Into the Wild movie posterThere’s a scene in Into the Wild in which the 24-year-old Christopher McCandless pithily lays out the philosophy that drives him to shun human contact and light out for the Alaskan wilderness.

Before McCandless, played quite well by Emile Hirsh, delivers his raison d’etre, he acknowledges that he’s “paraphrasing” Thoreau: “Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness … give me truth.”

Whether you think McCandless is a purely heroic character or a tragically misguided one rests on your interpretation of this quote and whether you agree with its priorities.

Is the quest for truth more important than the quest for love? And are they incompatible?

The heartbreaking aspect of “Into the Wild” is how McCandless effortlessly engenders love in other people and then subsequently leaves them behind without hesitation.

Throughout his two-year sojourn that zigzags the American west and ends in Alaska, he continually meets people who plead with him to stick around, but his desire for truth—something that he’s convinced can’t be found in a materialistic culture—keeps sending him back to his solitary existence.

It’s ironic that McCandless’ guiding principle—the one that spurs him to abandon his family and friends in the name of pursuing truth—should come from Thoreau, who, even while living on Walden Pond, went into town regularly for human contact.

1 Response to “Movie Review: Into the Wild”


  1. 1 mary

    I heard the movie is worth watching, if nothing else to spark a reaction. I wanted to check it out but the person I was wanting to see it with opted for the beatles movie instead, commenting:
    “I do not want to see “Into the Wild” since I think the guy was incredibly stupid or arrogant or both. Like the guy that cut off his arm in Utah.”

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