Christopher Johnson Mccandless

Christopher Johnson Mccandless

Christopher Johnson Mccandless, also known for his self-made nickname ‘Alexander Supertramp’. He was an American adventurer who sought an increasingly nomadic lifestyle he was the subject of the book ‘Into the wild’ which was of the non-fiction genre and was written by John Krakauer and was later made into a full-length feature film. He was often compared with the great author and novelist Henry David Thoreau. After graduating from Emory University, Mccandless gave up all the worldly riches and travelled across North America and eventually hitchhiked to Alaska in April 1992.

He had minimal supplies when he had entered into the Alaskan bush, he was hoping to simply live off of the land. On the eastern bank of the Shoshana river, Christopher found an abandoned bus which was a Fairbanks bus 142 which he famously called in his journals “The magic bus”. He used this bus as a makeshift shelter till his death. In September, his decomposing body, the exact circumstances relating to his death remains to this day the subject of some debate but to popular belief, it was considered to be poisoning, was found by a group of tribal hunters. In January 1993, Krakauer published an article about Mccandless in a month’s issue of Outside magazine. He had been assigned to the story and he had written it under a tight deadline inspired by the details of Mccandless’s story, Krakauer wrote the biographical book “Into the wild”, which was subsequently adapted into a 2007 film.

According to Krakauer, some of his favourite writers were Jack London, Mark Twain, H.G Wells. He was also said to be heavily influenced by the 19th-century American writer and naturalist, Thoreau and was engrossed by his essay ‘On the duty of civil disobedience. He had travelled to the Sierra Nevada, then California, Arizona, South Dakota. In April 1992 Mccandless hitchhiked from South Dakota to Alaska.

Mccandless’s final written journal entry noted as “day 107”, simply read, “Beautiful blueberries”. Day 108 – 112 contained no words and were marked only with slashes. The exact date and time of his death remain unknown. Near the time of his death, Mccandless took a picture of himself while holding a written note, which read “I have had a happy life and thank the lord. Goodbye and may God bless all.”

Thus it marked the end of a great adventurer who was a true humanist who dared to have lived the life he had dreamt of.

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