Chris has been forced to live under his dad’s rule for his entire life. This caused Chris to resent any authority, which includes government laws. Undesired authority can spark the idea of being a rebel or cause someone to become disobedient. In America, you are allowed to express opinions and complaints. It is in America’s foundation to be allowed to challenge some aspects of life. However, in some people’s cases, including Chris’, they take it a step further and challenge ALL aspects of life. People who rebel have deemed it that certain rules are unnecessary to follow. These people take the right to be an American for granted.
Other countries have little rights for people, where their citizens would love the right to religion, speech, etc. Also in extreme cases, rebels could have a warped sense of right and wrong. Rebels who denounce rules they deem worthless are not displaying how to be a true American. While as an American, each citizen is given the right to question things and speak up, outright not following is unacceptable. Within this passage, Chris doesn’t represent a person with positive American traits. In America, there is a problem with wanting more than what someone has. This issue usually involves money.
Greed is a common quality in the average American, and not wanting to have excess in money makes Chris different than others. While Chris parents were well-off and gave Chris money which went into his already saved money, it didn’t seem to matter to Chris. The amount of money did not seem to define who Chris was as a person. Having greed or money tends to shape people into having a large ego, but for Chris, he stayed the same person with or without money. Right before he left college to go on his journey he donated all his money, which showed he was a bigger person about material objects.
This passage shows the downsides of some people in America and how Chris was better and survived without money. People who rely heavily on money and cannot survive without expensive items do not showcase positive American qualities. In America, people have the right to education, and it is one of the most valued rights of its citizens. Chris had a very stereotypical childhood for a upper-middle class family. He attended high school and college, had some friends, and a somewhat normal house life for the time period he lived in. From being in his stereotypical life, Chris received a good education, making him very bright.
However, the stress of keeping his grades good, the desire for money, etc. made him question the purpose of it all. The questioning side to Chris could have been another factor to his departure into the wild the author does not talk about. Chris did display American qualities but what if his childhood qualities he was raised with pushed him to acquire some not so American traits? If stereotypical life pushed Chris, it could push other young people to escape. This passage reveals youth, even with a good stable upbringing, can express rebellious behaviors which support being rebellious is part of America’s youth qualities.
While some people do not like to admit, the human population is flawed. Flaws come from many different places, including greed, love, and anxiety. Chris was forced to conform to the American stereotype, considering his background and family. Chris wanted to no longer be defined as such, as Chris considered it to be a flaw. He tried to run away and escape to a place without any resemblance to his past. Chris was trying to no longer be defined as something and wanted something different. Nevertheless, flaws he lost were replaced by new flaws. He became forgetful on some occasions and an extreme risk-taker.
By running from his past, he became careless. Americans are always running from their flaws. Many Americans try to branch out from their childhoods, for example, lots of kids choose a college far from home and where no one would know them. Throughout the book, Chris runs away with shows he is human and has flaws. The wilderness was one of the main desires of America when this nation was just starting to form where freedoms and opportunities lied everywhere. With Chris saying the quote it demonstrates one quality that makes Chris a true American. He desired to have freedom, as most Americans would.
He is not allowing stereotypes or current news to define what being an American really is. Chris went into nature looking for freedom and found out how nature is what being an American is. Nature is simple, active, beautiful, and unforgiving. True Americans know these characteristics and see them within themselves. The Founding Fathers fought for their freedoms because of what they believed America could be. They saw the true characteristics of nature and being an American. Like many Americans, Chris believed himself to be indestructible. America has always been a superpower in the world even with its ups and downs.
Many youths feel indestructible even more so than adults, because of less exposure to experiences. To be American is to think of being untouchable. While most people would not say being tough as the first thing to describe as an American, once someone gets past the obvious qualities and start to think deeper, America is very assured of herself. However, as kids grow, they can come to realize how no one is really indestructible. At the time Chris was just a young adult and had not known of the truth. Chris was disillusioned, and once he could find out the truth he died.
This passage makes one think of what America should be but in truth isn’t. Most Americans are all about themselves, and that is why America has been sometimes label as narcissistic. However, Chris is different, as he strives to better people’s lives even if there was no reward. Chris was demonstrating on what true Americans should look like, fair and giving. What is counteractive to his actions is how he gives up his past life for one of self-discovery. Chris attended a great college which put him on a path to success, and also his actions made a good impact on society’s unfortunates.
These actions were all wasted when he, like so other Americans, focused on themselves. Chris ran away from his past to focus on himself. The bigger picture is so focused in that only a few can look past their own struggles to see others. Altruists are true Americans and while Chris started his life for others, he wavered from that path to care for himself with no thought for the people he left. Rebels are common characters in society and the majority of rebels are teenagers. In fact, in order to grow as humans, one will probably challenge something that has been deemed dangerous.
Chris did just what society had him programmed to do, take risks. Just like risk-taking is in “our genes”, it is in “our genes” to question and rebel against everything. One could say being a rebel is truly the most American thing possible. It was how the country started by rebelling against Great Britain and forming a free country. Teenagers and Chris are opposing standards forced upon them. Ironically, it is the old way or tradition that teenagers are rebelling against supporting the idea that they are the true Americans. It is a pattern which will continue in a loop that will not be broken. Rebelling allows for people to be true Americans.