Friday, April 1, 2011

Into The Wild

Finished reading this book today. Teared up towards the end when Chris was dying, and when his mum and dad visited the area where he died. He was so brave… I remember a quote from a character from one of my favorite books, “To kill a mockingbird” Atticus Finch said to Jem when he was telling him of how Mrs. Dubose died:

“Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It’s knowing you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

I’m not going to tell you what the book is about since you can google that information. Just a brief peek though, this is the true story of Chris McCandless’s final and fatal journey into the Alaskan Wilderness.

The book won’t be one of my favorites though. The writing was mediocre, it’s just that the subject is interesting.Though I do admire the writer’s effort to patch all the scattered information, I hated the part where he inserted bits of his stories, like duh, I couldn’t care less… I was just interested in Chris’s story: how he died and that. He is a big curiosity to me. at first I was awed by his boldness, then annoyed at his insensitive nature but finally I was deeply moved when he demonstrated courage like how Atticus Finch described.

Here are some of the things he wrote when he was already knocking on death’s door:

“SOS, I need your help. I am injured, near death and too weak to hike out of here. I am all alone, this is no joke. In the name of god, please remain to save me. I am out collecting berries closeby and shall return this evening. Thank you, Chris McCandless. (august?)”

The people who discovered Chris’s corpse found this note outside Fairbanks Bus 142; the note explained why there was a highly offensive smell coming from inside the bus.

“Day 100! Made it! But in weakest condition of life. Death looms as serious threat. Too weak to walk out. Have literally become trapped in the wild. -No Game.”

Jubilantly noted on August 5, mere days before his death. This was written before the plea for help.

...I have had a happy life and thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God bless all!“

Chris’s final note scribbled on a blank page of Louis L’Amour’s memoir. With his final note, he took a photograph of himself; skeletal thin but obviously very happy, serene and at peace. Not a note of self pity or sadness… one hand holding his final note, the other hand raised in a beatific farewell.

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