John Krakaur describes Chris McCandless as an intense young man who possessed a streak of stubborn idealism that did not mesh readily with modern existence. He strived for greatness and there was nothing stopping him. He believed it was possible to live without the luxuries given to us without complications. He wanted to live a great adventure, and he knew there was more to life than technology and education. He set out to find something greater than life itself but instead got lost into the wild. Alex Supertramp was the alter ego of Chris McCandless.
They were the same person, just a different name, and a different identity. Alex was lively, friendly, and highly intelligent. Chris had created this persona because he wanted to begin a new life and forget his past. Alex was a closed off person, he never let on too much about his personal life to the people he met on his trek. He was adventurous but not careless. He was educated and wanted a different insight on the world. Wayne Westerberg had described him in a personal way, like he knew Alex better than anyone. Westerberg had stated “He read a lot.
He used a lot of big words. 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. ” Some people would say he was courageous, whereas others would say he’s downright crazy.
Most people wouldn’t have even thought about doing what he had done, but that’s because not everyone is the same. He was very independent, and didn’t expect anyone to do anything for him. He left his family, and a career for this expedition to Alaska because he felt this was right for him. Although he was a very intelligent man, his over-confidence was his biggest weakness. He was so confident, he ditched his wallet and all kinds of communication because he was so sure he’d be okay without any help. He had studied for his trip, but he hadn’t thought about the harsh nvironment in Alaska. He knew what berries to eat and what berries not to eat but he didn’t know how they would affect him. Ron Franz, in particular had grown very fond of him. When Alex had met Ron, he didn’t realize how close they would become. Ron practically saw him as a grandson, and Alex hadn’t realized how he’d change the lives of the people he met on the road. In an interview, Ron had said “When Alex left for Alaska, I prayed. I asked God to keep his finger on the shoulder of that one; I told him that boy was special.
But he let Alex die. So on December 26, when I learned what happened, I renounced the Lord. I withdrew my church membership and became an atheist. I decided I couldn’t believe in a God who would let something that terrible happen to a boy like Alex. After I dropped off the hitchhikers, I turned my van around, drove back to the store, and bought a bottle of whiskey. And then I went out into the desert and drank it. I wasn’t used to drinking, so it made me real sick. Hoped it’d kill me, but it didn’t. Just made me real, real sick. Alex had made an impact on Ron’s life, but he didn’t live to see the changes because of his confidence, it took the best of him. Alex was sure of many things. He was hard-headed and stubborn, but he knew how to get by. Everyone told him to get a job, and start a career but he knew what he wanted in life. He had a diploma and a college degree but that didn’t satisfy him. He was drawn to nature and particularly, Alaska, that’s where he wanted to be, and that’s where he felt he needed to be. He was hoping to achieve something from this but instead lost his life.