Escaping society


Rachel Hlad

Sean Penn successfully directed “Into the Wild” leaving the viewer with a sense of possibility. Based on the bestselling non-fiction novel by Jon Krakauer, Penn follows McCandless’ serving as his biographer and companion throughout the film. There’s a bittersweet quality to McCandless’ story that Penn captures intuitively.


We are sculpted by the norms of society as we grow up, it’s hard to avoid having a routine in our day to day life. We are expected to get an education and a decent job allowing us to provide for ourselves or our family. We plan for the future so we can be independent when we get older.  What are we left with when we forget the significance of being in society? What happens when we go off into the depths of the world searching for ultimate freedom?


Growing up in the wealthy suburbs of Washington D.C., Christopher Johnson McCandless, has everything going for him as he is a very gifted athlete and scholar. Recently graduated from college, the 22-year-old begins his journey on foot to wherever life takes him. He abandons his promising future and walks off into the wild in search of happiness and adventure.
After the two-year journey that took him from South Dakota to Southern California, from the Sea of Cortez to the Alaskan wilderness, McCandless perished from starvation in August 1992. Penn captures scenery that allows you to believe that mountains, rivers and forests can be a voyage to self-discovery.