Response to Nick Jans

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Re: Response to Nick Jans

Post  Renée B on Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:39 pm

When I got to this point in the book this was exactly as I felt. I thought that Chris was a stupid jerk. One who cared only about himself, and this is partially true. BUt after I have finished the book I think something quite different. Instead of Chris being a stupid jerk to me he seems something else entirely. The word that describes him perfectly to me is unhappy. Chris is not normal. Not at all, and he did do selfish things. But he did not do it because he a jerk, but because he was hurting. His wound was deep and inflicted by someone he loved. I think that that is most of the reason that he ran away. But he also did stupid things. He should have realized that the river would swell. If you are going to go into the wild then you need to think these things through. He should have taken the gear offered to him. He was getting plenty of food, but for all of the things he ate he was losing a lot of body weight. The fungus was unlucky. He really was just unlucky there. But I think that he was doing fine in the wild. He simply made a mistake of not thinking of the river. We forgive the rookie QB for throwing an INT. and we shake our heads about how cocky he is. And when he gets picked off we say that he got what he had coming for him. And I think that is what happened to Chris. He was a rookie, next time he would not have made the same mistakes. He would have planned better. Memorized the playbook. But he had the misfortune to eat the wrong seeds. He never got the chance. So I do not think we should look at Chris with scorn like Nick Jans. Or fiercely defend him like others. I think that he is a sad story of an unhappy kid who was running away. He hurt his family, but he did not want to. I think that he was going to rejoin society after he left the wild. He realized that Happiness is only real when shared. But he was unlucky eating the wrong seeds, unlucky like Joe Theismann playing against Lawrence Taylor. NOt his fault, just an accident.

Renée B
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Post response to Nick Jans

Post  Rachel D on Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:20 pm

I believe Nick Jans is being a bit harsh when he accuses McCandless. Although most of his accusations are truthful in some manor, they still express an unnecessarily cruel amount of negativity. When Nick accuses Crises ignorance as his cause for death he forgets take Chris’s point of view into consideration. Evan though it was a manor of inexperience and being unprepared that caused his death McCandless still new his goal. He may have rush blindly forward into unforgivable surroundings, but it was not because he was ignorant of them, instead it was because he yearned to understand and find a place amongst them. Nevertheless, he without thought compares Chris to many others despite his obvious lack of knowledge on Chris’s life. In this one passage you can clearly see that Nick Jans is categorizing Chris McCandless from a first impression. Further more Nick insults Chris giving the impression that he is self centered and full of himself. Plus in the end of his comment he challenges anyone who may have a different opinion. Nick’s statement is very aggressive, and I find that it overall lacks the opinion of Chris. Even though it was not supposed to poses how Chris felt, it should have at least considered his feelings, and I get no resemblance of this connection from Nick’s commentary. When you step into someone else’s shoes, your looking for answers, reasons for actions, or just to more easily understand someone. I believe Nick made o attempt to see Chris’s point of view; instead he just criticized him.

Rachel D
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Nick Jans Response

Post  Dash W. on Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:54 pm

Although some portions of Nick Jans accusation are true his overall message is very single sided and lacks any means of dimension or expansion on the other side of the argument and why Chris may have been in the right making the statement lose credibility in my opinion. When Nick Jans stated that Chris was one out of many only separated by the fact that he died i had to disagree completely however. Over the course of reading about Chris especially in his earlier years the reader begins to discover, for one, that he is very much unlike many of the people surrounding him, and also that what makes Chris's story so unique is not his death, but how willing he was to go as far as possible to pursue the ideals he stood behind. While chris may be surrounded by those simply wanting to go out and seek adventure in the wilderness, he personally not only found deeper meaning and self discovery in the solitude, but also in his own eyes really had nothing left for himself in the civilized world. This became unmistakably clear to me upon Chris's return for a brief moment to civilization to spend time working at McDonalds. Even though in previous encounters you can see Chris is not incapable of having relationships with people, in this encounter we see that regardless of how attached to a place or person he may be, the longing for solitude is always stronger. Where Nick Jans is correct i believe is in his accusation of Chris being ill prepared at times. I agreed with this statement because even though Chris was able to stay well for an impressive amount of time his survival at times seemed dependent on the hospitality of others which seemed like something contrary to the rest of Chris's behaviors and made no sense for either continuing to pursue his journey or being as isolated as possible. So while Nick Jans makes an accurate point on the ignorance in some of Chris's decisions his overall claim that his time was essentially wasted was incorrect because of how much it meant to Chris and his inability to do anything else.

Dash W.
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Re: Response to Nick Jans

Post  Alex B. on Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:32 pm

Alexandria Blake
English
Jester
Period 6
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I somewhat agree to Nick Jans article. It is true that Christopher McCandless, Alexander, was different then many. He decides to leave all of his loved ones be hide and go on an adventure without anyone having any knowledge of his whereabouts. Even thought the author of the piece does not have any sympathy for Chris, I do. Alexander may have caused his own death but it was a mistake. He tried to stay alive, he even wrote an S.O.S. note. Also I understand why Nick feels this way. Alexander know what the effects would be if his adventure did not turn out the way he hoped. He even said in chapter 14 “If this adventure proves fatal and you don‘t hear from me again I want you to known you‘re a great man. I now walk into the wild” (p. 133, Into the Wild). Therefore he had known what could become of him but he took the risk anyway, he ended up hurting a lot of people. This is why he is ignorant and selfish, like Nick said. If Christopher had only brought a map or a hand book with him he could have saved his life. Thus why I feel Alexander’s way of living was selfish, his one action broke a whole line of peoples hearts. From the article by Nick Jans I do agree with the statements that Alexander was a foolish child and everyone should have compassion for his parents. Its heart braking to think a family member died because he wanted to get away from his parents and problems. This is why I feel Alexander was selfish. He had known that the adventure could end fatally and yet he still took part in it. He never put others feeling before his own. What made him foolish was when he burned his money and when he left most of his supplies in the bus. Also he foolishly wasted all of is talent and education. He had great potential and never took it anywhere, like Nick Jans said in this article “McCandless‘s postcard, notes, and journals…read like the work of an above average, somewhat histrionic (melodramatic) high school kid--or am I missing something?” Christopher McCandless, Alexander, was a interesting character. He lived his life his own way for two year. He hitchhiked all over and ended going on his dream adventure in Alaska. I agree with Nick Jans opinions and understand why he feels this way

Alex B.
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Response to Nick Jans

Post  Calvin L on Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:16 am

Well, you are right about all the people that have gone to Alaska and botten into trouble and maybe even died like Chris did and that the only real difference is that the media hopped on to this story. You say that what happens to all these people and notably Chris is that they get into big trouble because they are ignorant, and commit hubris thinking there is no way they could die or have trouble and overall this is true that this has happened. For those points I can't say that this isn't true because each time these people get into trouble it is because they overestimate themselves and underestimate the country as you said. He was ignorant and as you said, the ignorance was willfull and he chose not to have these things that could ahve helped him survive. Not having these things was part of the whole experience for Chris and if he had them and it was easy the whole trip would have been for nothing to him. You bash on Chris and say that you have no sympathy for him and overall you just think he's a total dumbass for doing what he did. What Chris did was he died doing what he enjoyed and wanted to do. Sure he didn't try to die and probably didn't want to but he died doing what he enjoyed and that is something not many people do. What will you do? You will probably end up dieing when you get old living in some retirement home, is what happened to Chris not better than that? Maybe it is what you want, but keep in mind that it isn't what Chris wanted, Chris was most likely much happier dieing that way rather than growing old and dieing in some bed not being able to move at all. You can't just assume that everyone is of the same opinion as you and that you are the correct one. I see your point that he made stupid mistakes, but then you go on to talk about how stupid of a PERSON he was. There is a difference between saying that and saying he made mistakes, in one you are saying he made big mistakes, in the other you are saying that his whole lifestyle is wrong and that everyone should conform to your set society. You can go on believing in this little fairy tale of yours Nick but the truth is that sometimes people live how they want to and that calling them dumbasses for doing so just makes you look like a prick. In the end, I respect your statement and I acknowledge that some of it is true but at the same time, I believe that Chris was right in doing what he did, even if it didn't end in the way he wanted.

-Calvin Lee
-English 2nd period

Calvin L
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Reply by Mattison Francis

Post  Mattison on Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:23 am

This quote here, it is very strong. There just is no sympathy, there does not even seem to be a scrap of effort put towards looking from his point of view or even thinking about what he was actually trying to do. Sure, how Chris did things and his lack of basic, basic preparation for such an "intense" adventure was rather foolish. His life could have easily been saved if he had done something as simple as getting a map. In that sense, I do, almost agree with the severe judgmental point of view Nick Jans has. However, I mainly disagree with this letter. Sure, maybe there were others like Chris. Adventurous individuals who ran off into the wild under prepared. The fact is though, Chris was doing what he wanted to do. He set his mind on going to Alaska and living off the land and that is what he did. I also think he was much more intelligent and had much more of an idea of what he was getting himself into than some of the people he is being compared to.
In his letters he says something along the lines of "if i make it back" which does show that he does indeed know that what he is doing may result in death. I think Nick is just far too biased. If someone took the time to have him actually think about what Chris wanted and why he was doing it I don't have a doubt in my mind that his opinion would be at least be a little bit swayed in Chris' favor. Chris wanted a fantastic adventure out into the wilderness of Alaska and that is what he got. He lasted a while and had a good time doing it, it is a shame it ended how it did and how easily he could have still been alive today.

Mattison
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Re: Response to Nick Jans

Post  jbeeson on Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:47 pm

I feel like I would have to agree with what he had to say about Chris. It makes me feel bad to do so because of all his family and friends who loved him, but it is the truth. He should have never gone out there in the first place. He just randomly thought about going into the WILD without even preparing or reading anything about survival. You can’t just survive in the wild with a bag of rice, no communication to anyone, and know only basics on how to hunt, from some guy you met up while working. Even a person without a college education could know that. Especially he should have known he needed to prepare more. He went to Emory University. I agree with what Nick Jans said too, there are other people just like Chris who make the same dumb decisions, John Krakauer even wrote it in the book. He wrote about three different examples of young twenty year olds who go out into the Alaska wilderness thinking it is going to be a cake walk and decide not to prepare or anything, and it turns out terribly. It is just so sad because, I am sure a lot of these guys had bright futures, like Chris who went to a very prestigious school. To be honest, I think it was selfish what he did. He did not even give a clue to his family as to where he is and what he was doing, then finally goes to Alaska and cuts every person on earth off. Then with lack of preparation he passed away. I feel so bad for everyone who was close to him, and I wish he made brighter choices. I would not even be surprised if there was something a bit mental wrong with him.

jbeeson
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