Belonging (Into the Wild)

A sense of belonging can emerge from connections with:
• people
• places
• groups
• communities
• the larger world
People: Main points- Chris feels he does not belong to his family. He disapproves of the pressure from his family (which reflects society’s expectations) who expect him to have a successful career and have a high reputation (eg. His parents offer to buy him a new car to build his image). “Do you think I want some fancy boat? Are you worried what the neighbours might think?”
In the restaurant scene of Chris with his parents the quick editing and close ups of his father, mother and sister’s eyes emphasizes the judgment, criticism and family expectations.
In the family he feels a lack of intimacy which stems from his parent’s constant arguments and talks of divorce which create a negative atmosphere for Chris and his sister, Careen. Lack of intimacy is shown in the flashback of a family video. The grey and blue colouring contrasts with the euphoric laughing and playing. This suggests that his family happiness is false and highlights the disconnection, lack of affection, intimacy and love he feels in his family.
Shift in perception of belonging. Belonging is a two way process which involves external and internal acceptance. Chris is loved by his family but does not want to accept this love because he doesn’t agree with his parent’s ideology and detests them for their quarrels. Breaks away from family to live a life of solitude in the wilderness. This solitude is interrupted by flashbacks of the people he meets on his travels. Warm lighting and blissful music are in majority of the scenes to highlight their developing relationships, contrasts with vulnerability in nature lack of survival skills. This reinforces the significance of relationships with people. At the end of the film Chris comes to forgive his family- balances external and internal views in order to achieve belonging. “happiness is only real when shared” written as he dies- his...