Christiphor McCandless was a 23 year old man who set out to the wild for his personal ambition. A year later he was found dead. Both Jon Krakuer and Sean Penn have interpreted McCandless’s story in their personal way Krakeur making a book and Penn in making a movie. In this essay I will be analysing the comparison between McCandless’s family and McCandless himself in the book and the film.
The film presents McCandless’s family in a negative way. An example in the film is physical fights. They are portrayed in a negative manner through out the film. In the book there is no evidence that Walt and Billie ever got in any physical fights. Penn uses this scene in the movie to show that both parents didn’t get along with another. In the book they show a negative side of McCandless family but also shows that both parents loved McCandless. The movie also shows Chris McCandless dislike for his parents as the movie portrays that Chris McCandless did not like his parents, evidence in the movie for this is his speech to Carine McCandless when he wishes his parents would have never have met. This shows that Chris McCandless did not like his parents relationship. Another piece of evidence that shows that Chris McCandless disliked his parents, especially his dad, is when he found out that his father had another family. This appears in the book and was one of the reason Chris McCandless disliked his father.
Both the book and movie show a strong relationship between Chris McCandless and Carine McCandless. The book and the movie present Chris as a caring brother towards Carine, the evidence that shows this was Chris and Carine would walk home together after school holding hands. This was mentioned in the book and suggests that Chris loved Carine very much. Another piece of evidence that shows that Chris and Carine had a strong relationship is from the movie, the scene where Chris and Carine are in the car together as Chris was reading to her. This scene shows the trust between Chris and Carine. The books mostly show the relationship between the two characters as the movie doesn’t as much. The book also tells the reader that she viewed her brother as a role model as he was talented in everything he did, this suggests that Carine respected he brother deeply and evidence for this is that it showed that Carine respects her older brother when she joined her school band because of Chris and she started to play the french horn because of her brother, the only thing she was better than Chris at.
The movie doesn’t show an early life of Chris McCandless in contrast to the book as it goes into detail of Chris’ childhood, highlighting events that show him as questioning society. But the movie starts with Chris graduating college at the beginning. The book goes into depth about Chris’s childhood and gives the reader an idea of his childhood giving us an outlook of why Chris McCandless set out to the wild. This is a technique Jon Krakeur uses in order for the reader to understand more about McCandless family and Chris Mcandless himself. The book shows why Chris didn’t like the way society treated each other, evidence that showed this is shown in the movie . In the scene where Chris is in a bar with Wayne Westerberg he starts yelling about Society and how its bad telling Wayne about his trip to Alaska. When Chris McCandless burns his money, he is also showing that he is rebelling. By burning his money he is showing that he is not willing to follow with society and saying that this money is useless and causes people pain in their lives suggesting money is depraved.
In the book Walt is presented as a smart man who was very intelligent. The evidence that suggest this in the book is he worked for NASA. This was mentioned in the book in my opinion to show that Walt McCandless was an intelligent man. The movie dose not show this and portrays Walt as an aggressive abuser as shown in the scene where he hits McCandless mother Billie. The book also shows that McCandless father was a well respected man the evidence that shows this is quotations from his friends, this also suggest that Walt was a respected man with a high stature. This also compares to McCandless who was also a very intelligent man which is shown in the book and in the movie. It shows this in the movie and book as he graduated from college, he was also accepted by top universities. He got all A’s in his courses this showed a similarity between Mcandless and his father. Although McCandless father was presented in a positive manner he was also shown to have a double life. This affected McCandless life and he disliked the fact that his father had another family it also meant he lost respect for his father.
The book and the movie show that Chris McCandless and Walt McCandless have similar characteristics. One of them is that they are both stubborn. Evidence that shows this in the book and in the movie is the scene where Chris Mcandless parents offer him a car and his tone towards his parents “Do you think I want some fancy boat? Or are you worried about what the neighbours will think” This quotation from the movie suggests that McCandless was bullheaded. Another evidence that shows that he was disrespectful towards his parents is the tone he uses when he replies in a sarcastic tone suggesting that he is disrespectful. Evidence in the movie that shows that Walt is a stubborn man is his reaction to Chris’s parents as he says “Everything’s gotta be difficult.” This quote suggests that Walt is also stubborn and was not having it from Chris as his tone to his voice is projected in an angrily manner. This suggests that Walt is stubborn from the movie.
McCandless family are shown in many perspectives through out the movie and the book. Penn’s movie showed a different side of McCandless family in both a positive and negative way. Penn uses his imagination to make the movie more interesting as Jon Krakeur use primary resources as a way of writing McCandless story.