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Similarities in Chris McCandless and Ralph Emerson

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John Smith

Daniel Clemenson

F Period


Similarities in Chris McCandless And Ralph Emerson

Ralph Emerson and Christopher McCandless are two people that lived in two very different times and both men led very different lives. However, despite their differences both Ralph Emerson and Chris McCandless are two very similar individuals who have very similar thoughts and ideas[a]. Both believe that self reliance and individualism are more important than society and that one should follow one’s true own inner nature, even if it does not match up with society's norms. Both also recognized how society almost always pushes us in the opposite direction of our dreams, and makes us pretend we are someone we are really not[b].

One similarity between Emerson and McCandless is that both of these men believe that society keeps people down and that society keeps one from expressing their true self. McCandless shows us that he believes society holds us back when he states that “[s]o many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism[c]” (Krakauer). It is also very clear when researching Emerson that he also believed that society is a menace to one’s true inner self. This is clear when he says that “[t]o be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” (Emerson[d]). These quotes show us how both of these men believed that we need to stay true to our true self and not let Society tell us how to live and act.

Another similarity between Emerson and McCandless is both of these men show how you can’t let society tell you how to live and that you have to follow your own dream, even if society may not approve of it or look down upon it. Emerson shows how he believes that one should follow their dream, even if it is in opposition with society when he states, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” (Emerson). Likewise[e], Chris demonstrated this in real life by living in an odd way that most people didn’t really approve of. But Chris didn't care because he knew that he is following his dream and how he wants to be “[d]uring that final year in Atlanta, Chris had lived off Campus in a monkish room furnished with little more than a thin mattress on the floor, milk crates, and a table. He kept it as orderly and spotless as a military barracks.And he didn’t have a phone, so Walt and Billie had no way of calling him” (Krakauer[f]).

The last way that Emerson and McCandless are similar is because both of them show how you shouldn't let the

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