by Madeline Laughs
I remember reading the book and thinking that this young man lived a tragic life. It was a page turner and a sad ending. The movie really brought all of it to life for me.
We disagreed about his philosophy and about the manner in which he lived. My husband said he could identify with how his adult life was so affected by his childhood. I know that’s a fact, but what I saw in this young man was a huge amount of narcissism and a desire only for himself and what he wanted to do.
He was so driven by his own wants and needs that he stepped over and around every other human being that touched his life. When I read that one of his favorite authors was Thoreau this all made sense to me. Thoreau was one of the most depressing and morose authors I had ever read. In fact, right in the middle of reading one of his greatest works I had to put the book aside because it was having an adverse affect on me. I remember wondering who I was, what difference was I making in the world and how would I ever make a difference at the pace I was moving. When you compare yourself to some of the greatest human beings you realize how small and insignificant you are. So why bother? What would anything I could do matter to anyone? I was depressed thinking about it.
Granted, Thoreau did not seem to have that hold over this young man. Perhaps because he identified himself as a loner and the difference he made was embracing that role and living it to the fullest. Props to him for that.
I was so happy to see that he finally “got it” in the end. At the end of his life he realized that happiness wasn’t real unless it is shared. He allowed so many great folks to pass through his life and he never allowed them to get close or to touch him emotionally. He had tunnel vision.
It wasn’t until he was alone and dying that he finally realized that life isn’t life and happiness isn’t real, unless you share it, unless you reach out, take that chance, and make that connection.
You have to have that interaction with another human being before you can call yourself Human.
- Into the Wild (2007) (foolishblatherings.wordpress.com)
- “Thoreau and the Art of Life: Reflections on Nature and the Mystery of Existence” by Henry David Thoreau (biblioreview.wordpress.com)
- The Inspiring Life of Henry David Thoreau (ritusthoughtcatcher.wordpress.com)
- A Walk with Thoreau (blogcritics.org)