Physical Journeys- Into the Wild vs Henry V

1. The 2007 film ‘Into the Wild’ is based on the true story of Christopher Johnson McCandless. After graduating with high marks from Emory University in Atlanta, USA, 22 year old Chris leaves behind his affluent family and lifestyle to take to the road. He follows his dream of an Alaskan adventure and “ultimate freedom”. Sick of materialism and the obligations imposed upon him by his parents, Chris cuts up all his credit and identification cards and donates his $24,000 college fund to the charity Oxfam. Chris departs west in his old but efficient Datsun automobile, but soon changes travelling methods to walking, hitchhiking and ‘freight hopping’ after the car is damaged in a flash flood. Burning his remaining cash, Chris never contacts his family again and adopts the pseudonym of “Alexander Supertramp”.

The main components of Chris’ journey on the road to Alaska include South Dakota, where he worked on a wheat farm for a man named Wayne. He kayaked through rapids down the Colorado River to the Grand Canyon and Mexico. He also visited Slab City, California, a poor, yet lively, alternate lifestyle caravan commune. Chris meets several interesting characters along the way, including middle-aged hippies Rainey and Jan; and Ron Franz, a lonely, unadventurous elderly man with no surviving family.        

On the way, he is brutally bashed by a heartless train guard and is unsettled by the dark, eerie city of Los Angeles. Chris eventually arrives North in the Alaskan wilderness, nearly two years after he left home. He creates a residence in a “Magic Bus”, an abandoned vehicle in the middle of nowhere. For approximately three months, Chris lives self-sufficiently off the land, armed with a rifle for hunting purposes. He mostly enjoys his time in the wild, apart from a failed attempt to cook a moose in a roughly made smokehouse. Unfortunately, Chris’ journey comes to an end when a heavily swollen, fast running river prevents further travel and cuts off animal game. He...