Both Sal Paradise and Chris McCandless represent the spirit of adventure motivated by the underlying need to experiment nature and realize a sense of exploration. Although their intentions to adventure are well constructed, both characters end up suffering a sense of emptiness but in a different dimension.On the Road by Kerouac is about humanity and how men and women in the society survive on the element of friendship which extensively influences their moral positions and standards. It tells a story of Sal Paradise who travels across the country in an adventure that leads him and his friend Dean experimenting with drugs and sex.
On the other hand, into the wild by John Krakauer looks through the western American from the eye of an adventurer who chose to forsake both his family and an assured future. Through McCandless, Krakauer makes an enlightening picture which symbolizes the greedy characteristic of man through obsession. Man in nature therefore sums up adventurous aspect of McCandless.Dealing with this sense of adventure as well as exploration, Sal perceives the towns and country that lie ahead of him as forms of new adventure.
Through his numerous traveling and journeys, Sal understands that he among the explorers who must adventure to find new life.As opposed to McCandless, Sal embodies a culture of exploration to find meaning in life and add value to the society in the same way explorers did (Gould: 56-58). Comparatively, Chris McCandless deeply believes that his important joy in life originates from his close association with nature.Through point of view, Krakauer underscores how Chris McCandless ultimately became foolish as seen in how he met his end due to negligence and his own death wish (Theado: 23-25).
Unlike Sal, the adventure of McCandless exposes that the overconfidence of a brave as well as a brilliant young man in the society, may yield to destruction if care is not taken into account. Sal adventures in towns and the country at large while McCandless adventures in the wilderness.On a slightly sad tone, Sal is mirrored to realize that adventure is not as refreshing as he thought and in this case, although technology and modernity has made adventure and travelling much easier, there are fewer places to be explored. To confront this reality, Sal visits places like The Wild West and the mining town only to realize little stimulation to his adventurous spirit.
Kerouac addresses adventure as motivated through dissatisfaction and restlessness that is rooted in the insanity of beat generation. In this case, Sal experiences the need to move through time and space; a concept that originates from dissatisfaction. For instance, as Dean is motivated to move through time, Sal moves in line with space ((Kerouac, 67-69).).However, their movement is aimless and that is why they do not find satisfaction wherever and whenever they go. As a result, Dean and Sal finds no true heaven after their traveling comes to an end and it is even more evident that lack of focus and absurd lifestyle is manifested in romantic relationships of characters.
They feel more dissatisfied with women a factor which sets them in the mood of a variety of women.Similarly, McCandless adventure into the wilderness is not beneficial. The futility of McCandless adventure as a result of his obsessive nature lies in his search for the original cause of what drives these insatiable desires and obsession. Hedblad (41-43) asserts that the answer to such question may be found in the inborn drive that propelled the young Chris McCandless to leave his family, a brighter future and modern life and head into the wilderness in the remote Alaska.
This primarily led to the destruction of McCandless four months later, as his body was found by the hunter in his campsite (Krakauer, 112-114). Through such an angle, Krakauer builds up the concept of futility in man’s efforts to satisfy his insatiable ego. With regard to this, he digs deep by exposing the inherent and convincing mysteries of people in society who are not contented with their positions.Into the Wild equally loosens the riddle that holds the larger mystery of obsession by undercutting the deep effects of the American wilderness, compounded by the attraction of highly risky ventures as well as activities and influenced by the relationship between fathers and their sons.