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『Into the Wild』(1996)

A Product of Memory

 A question, what is belief?, should be mentioned because belief is a fiction. Though the existence of belief is generally believed, it is a product of memory.


 In "Into the Wild," the author, Jon Krakauer, suggests the two grand questions, namely, what is the belief and to accept the diversity. The belief is one of the biggest life themes in this novel. Krakauer inquiries into the truth of the belief because he wants to know what makes people drive. Though he tries to approach the truth of the belief, he still cannot reach the truth. Also, to accept the diversity is important for human life because it leads to learn the sociality. The main character, Christopher McCandless might realize the diversity on his deathbed by dint of awe of nature. 

 

 There is a difference between the novel Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and the movie Into the Wild adapted by Sean Penn. In the movie, the theme is to find oneself. A six teen year-old, young, beautiful girl comes into the picture in the movie. She falls in love with McCandless. Though McCandless is old enough to be interested in girls, he does not care about her. He just focuses on himself. In this point, the role of this girl emphasizes the theme of this movie: the way the person should be in one's youth. In the movie, the value of the belief is affirmed from first to last. Again, the message of this movie is to be honest for oneself in one's youth.

 On the other hand, in the novel, Krakauer says neither yes nor no about the belief. This novel has an eternal theme for human being. The theme of the novel is more universal and grand than that of the movie . In "Into the Wild," Krakauer discusses what the belief is. The author tries to find out the true form of the belief through the behavior of Christopher McCandless. Krakauer thinks McCandless has a lot of analogies with himself in his youth. Krakauer cannot understand his behavioral principle in his youth. He considers himself in his youth as a different person. Therefore, Krakauer thinks that to reveal the behavioral principle of McCandless could lead to understanding himself in his young age.
 In "Into the Wild,"
 Krakauer cannot value McCandless's death because Krakauer could not discover McCandless's motive, that is, belief.
Krakauer writes, "Roman, Andrew, and I stay up well past midnight , trying to make sense of McCandless's life and death, yet his essence remains slippery, vague, elusive"(186).
In addition to McCandless, Krakauer compares his behaviors in his youth with adventurers and pilgrimages to clarify the driving force of human. Krakauer is fascinated by what drives a person move, namely, the belief.

 

 In this novel, Krakauer never deny McCandless's character and journey because Krakauer cannot answer the principle of McCandless, namely, McCandless's motive. Therefore, Krakauer does not necessarily relate McCandless' family relationship problems to McCandless's journey. In "Into the Wild," Krakauer discusses what McCandless is. He writes, "McCandless was something else - although precisely what is hard to say, a pilgrim, perhaps" (85). What makes McCandless drive is an everlasting mystery. Consequently, all beliefs are neither wrong nor right for Krakauer.


 For Krakauer, the belief itself is mysterious, attractive, dangerous, and integrant. Also, he thinks the belief could lead to tunnel vision. In "Into the Wild, " Krakauer discusses the attraction of the people that ha s belief. Krakauer writes,



 They were drawn across the storm-racked ocean, drawn west past the edge of the known world, by nothing more than a hunger o the spirit, a yearning of such queer intensity that it beggars the modern imagination” “Reading of these monks, one is moved by their 
courage, their reckless innocence, and the urgency of their desire. Reading of these monks, one can't help thinking of Everett Ruess and Chris McCandless (85).
McCandless's behavior is religious. To trace the belief of human is Krakauer's life theme.

 Also, Krakauer raises the second question. In "Into the Wild," Krakauer suggests the receptiveness, in other word, to accept diversity. Awe helps a person realizes the diversity because the person can distinguish his or her principle from the principle of non-accessible existence by feeling of dread.

 Krakauer lives in the real world. 
McCandless lives in his pure world. Krakauer has already accepted the diversity: Krakauer thinks his father and himself are different. He does not bend the facts in order to satisfy his world view. In "Into the Wild, "Krakauer accepts the real world. He writes, "The revelation that he was merely human , and frightfully so, was beyond my power to forgive. Two decades after the fact I discovered that my rage was gone , and had been for years ...I saw t h at I had been selfish and unbending and a giant pain in the ass" (148).
 Krakauer be aware of the diversity.

 On the other hand, McCandless is a self- sufficient person. McCandless could not accept his father. He intentionally ignores the reality if a fact does not satisfy his world view. McCandless lives in his imaginary world. In "Into the Wild, " Krakauer discusses his arbitrariness. He writes, "He always had to know the absolute right answer before he could go on the next thing "(18).

He also says of McCandless,
 [He] conveniently overlooked the fact that London himself had spent just a single winter in the North and that he'd died by his own hand on his California estate at the age of forty, a fatuous drunk, obese and pathetic, maintaining a sedentary existence that bore scant resemblance to the ideals he espoused in print (44).

McCandless does not communicate with the outside world without his world view: he denies the diversity of the world. Therefore, he needs to accept the diversity through nature. When McCandless got a chance to realize the diversity, he unfortunately died. This is just an accident.

 The diversity helps a person understand others. Diversity means there are different principles from yours. Awe arouses people to recognize diversity. People that are governed by their awe of an object realize the different principle between them and the object they venerate. For example, even when McCandless is dying, nature never makes allowance for his crisis. Then, McCandless truly realizes nature has a different principle, namely, the diversity. In his dying, he might venerate the nature that gives him the fate of death, as well as the blessings of nature.

 The feeling of awe enables a person to accept diversity. In "Into the Wild," Krakauer refers to the sharing of happiness. He writes, "HAPPPINESS ONLY REAL WHEN SHARED" (189). To hold oneself in awe is one of the best ways to realize diversity. Therefore, to recognize the diversity of the world leads to the reconcilability with society. The sharing of happiness is produced from the receptiveness for others. It means you and I are different, namely, the diversity. The feeling of awe enables a person to accept diversity. To accept diversity leads a person to realize that the environment let himself or herself lives, namely, the relation ship. Human cannot live longer without the community. To realize the diversity enable a person has his or her own real belief. The belief is valid only in the human societies. Only human societies have validated that a person has his or her own belief because belief is a fiction that human has created.


 Therefore, again, the question should be asked ,namely, what is the belief ? Actually, the belief is a fiction. Though the existence of belief is generally believed, it is a product of memory. Therefore, the concept of memory has to be stated.

 The memory is defined as a tool to perceive the time: time is created by memory. There is the definition of time. There are sand glasses, sundials, water clocks, seasons, air temperature and the growing of a beard. These things indicate the time passage by the change, the difference between the past and the present: the gap of information on the memory. Generally, though the time is defined as change, it is not exact. Actually, the time means the difference of a phenomenon between the past and the present on the memory. In short, time is the difference on the memory. Memory enables a person to recognize the change of time.

 The gap of information on the memory between the past and the present enables people recognize the time passage ; humans recognize the changes of sandglasses, sundials, water clocks, seasons, air temperature and the growing of a beard by the gap of the memory. Time is a product of memory. Without memory, human cannot recognize time passage.

 The past produces the future. Time includes the past, the present, and the future. The identity lives in the past, the belief lives in the future. The identity produces the belief. That is, the past on the memory can build up one's own identity. Just humans have the belief system because only humans have the long term memory that accumulates the past. If a person completely forgets the past, this person will lose his or her identity. The man that cannot identify himself in yesterday with that in today is difficult to build up his own belief. Without the past memory, the person cannot have his or her future. 
The belief is made of the past on the memory. The past is the identity itself and a seed of belief. The past on the memory supports one's own belief.
 The future is a scenario on the memory. The belief lives in the future. From origin of life, human need the design for the future. To create scenario for the future is essential to build up the future. Human needs the information to plan their future.

 The memory is subjective, not objective. The contents of memory are arbitrary. Memory consists of one's interest to build up one's own story. The memory functions such as film making. Even if a lot of people experienced the same event, everyone has his or her own memory. People individually choose different past events from a lot of events by different perspectives, such as an editing task of the movies, to satisfy one's own story. In addition, the memory is controlled by the outside stimuli.

 People always try to find a relationship between the facts in spite of the personal interest and the outside stimuli. As a result, a sequence of events is created. Each person has his or her own story by editing. Each person has one's own past. Everyone is both the film director and scenario writer. The original story is one's own identity. The memory is subjective. Therefore the memory is oneself, the identity derived from the past and a seed of the be
lief for the future. The memory creates the original story for the past and a scenario for the future.

 The information is made of memory. Just not the past, but also the present and the future 
depend on the information . The past is an original story of memory and the future is a scenario of it. Both of them are made of memory. In addition, even the present is made of memory. For example, if the dead body of McCandless was not found, he still lives in the minds of his parents. The luminance of a star that is one light year away from the Earth is the luminance the star emitted one year before. The star already might have disappeared. In spite of that, a person recognizes the star that already disappeared. A person still feels the non existent star. This is religious. As a result, even the present depends on the memory. All information is supported by the memory. All events from the past to the future exist on the assumption of one' s own memory. Everything is a product of memory.

 There are no sure values in the universe. The world exists on the assumption. Everything could be a fiction. Ultimately, only the room that I am now in exists in the universe. Then, each time I open the door to get out of the room, the world I have assumed might be created. After close the door, there is nothing over the door. Only one's field of vision might be all of world. Everything could be the projection of one's own brain. If the whole world is a fiction, all of belief s are fiction. To the sure thing, youth at believe your self are existent here. A belief inhabits each mind. Human actually has no reason for being except one's own faith. Therefore, there is no right and wrong. Just the person that believes an answer exists in the world. We don't have to care that one's own belief is wrong or not. Just believe myself. Be natural, be yourself.