Talk:Christopher McCandless

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  • "My days were more exciting when I was penniless and had to forage around for my next meal, I've decided that I'm going to live this life for some time to come. The freedom and simple beauty of it is just too good to pass up. One day I'll get back to you, Wayne, and repay some of your kindness."
  • "But you're wrong if you think that the joy of life comes principally from human relationships. God's placed it all around us, it's in everything, anything we can experience. People just need to change the way they look at those things."
  • “Some people feel like they don't deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.”
  • “The core of man's spirit comes from new experiences.”
  • ""I don't want to know what time it is, I don't want to know what day it is, or where I am. None of that matters."
  • "I won't run into anything I can't deal with on my own."
  • “Rather than love, than money, than faith, than fame, than fairness… give me truth.”
  • “…henceforth will learn to accept my errors, however great they be…”
  • "If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed."
    • From Tolstoy, War and Peace (though quoted in Penn's film, it seems there is no evidence of Chris actually quoting this passage)
  • "Mr. Franz, I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one."
  • "Conscious attention to the basics of life, and a constant attention to your immediate environment and its concerns, example- A job, a task, a book; anything requiring efficient concentration."
  • "What if I were smiling and running into your arms? Would you see then what I see now?"
  • "Is Anyone Watching This? God, Are You Watching This?"


  • “It’s about somebody who had a will that is so uncommon today, a lack of addiction to comfort, that is so uncommon and is so necessary to become common, or mankind won’t survive the next century.”~
  • "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."
  • "In most ways Chris was a young man who, way ahead of his time knew who he was, and had to find a place that would accept him. Once he did that, he'd have the muscles to offer something back to a community, a family or a woman, to whomever. It was always on that basis that I approached him."
  • "'You could tell right away that Alex was intelligent,' - Westerberg reflects - 'He read a lot. Used a lot of big words. In fact, I think maybe part of what got him into trouble was that he did too much thinking. Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure out why people were bad to each other so often. A couple of times I tried to tell him it was a mistake to get too deep into that kind of stuff, but Alex got stuck on things. He always had to know the absolute right answer before he could go on to the next thing."'
  • "Once Alex made up his mind about something there was no changing it. I even offered to buy him a plane ticket to Fairbanks, which would have let him work an extra ten days and still get to Alaska by the end of April. But he said, 'No, I want to hitch north. Flying would be cheating. It would wreck the whole trip.' (Westerberg)
  • "Chris didn't understand how people could possibly be allowed to go hungry, especially in this country - He would rave about that kind of thing for hours."
  • "I saw Chris at a party after his freshman year at Emory," remembers Eric Hathaway, "and it was obvious that he had changed. He seemed very introverted, almost cold. Social life at Emory revolved around fraternities and sororities, something Chris wanted no part of. And when everybody started going Greek, he kind of pulled back from his old friends and got more heavily into himself."


  • I am reborn. This is my dawn. Real life has just begun. Deliberate living: Concious attention to the basics of life, and a constant attention to your immediate environment and its concerns, example -> A job, a task, a book; anything requiring efficent concentration (Circumstance has no value. It is how one relates to a situation that has value. All true meaning resides in the personal relationship to a phenomenon, what it means to you).
    • Mary Ellen Barnes (ed.). Back to the Wild (2nd ed.). Twin Star Press, 2013. ISBN 978-0-9833955-0-8. (p. 148; according to the book, Chris wrote this at Wayne's place before he left for Alaska, while Krakauer's Into the Wild puts it in mid June 1992, when Chris failed to preserve the moose he shot and was reading Thoreau's Walden)