Into the Wild- Belonging

Visual text- Into the wild- Directed by Sean Penn

a) What ideas about belonging does the text relay to the responder?

In Sean Penn’s ‘Into the wild’, it is saying that a sense of belonging can only be found when one is in solitude and alienated from other people. In these situations, a person can discover themselves and also what they desire from life. It is only then can people find their position in society. This is seen when Chris McCandleless, in Alaska (by himself) is dying. He only then realises that “true happiness is shared” meaning that nobody could be happy by themselves, instead only when they are with other people.

Another idea about belonging is that even though when a person feels alienated from his family, they will always belong because they share the same blood. Chris decides to run away and isolate himself from home because he dislikes the idea of society and material goods. Also he believes that his parents are worried what other people think and so conform to society’s rules and expectations. Chris seeks a sense of belonging with nature because he does not feel as though he fits in at home. Chris however will always have a home to go to if he decides to return.

A further idea of belonging is that there are factors in a person’s life that make them feel unaccepted by society. Chris overcomes the uncertainties that he has within himself. These fears include developing close and personal relationships and his fear of being judged. Overcoming these uncertainties are symbolised when Chris overcomes the difficulties associated with nature.

In the movie ‘Into the wild’, it also subtly mentions that everybody has a place where they are accepted. For most of the movie, Chris believes that he is accepted by nature and it is where he belongs, but in actual fact, Chris doesn’t belong to Mother Nature. This is observed when Chris is in Alaska and is trying to make his way back. It has changed seasons and so the frozen river that he once...