The purpose of this Endurance paper was to connect to a character we read about in one of our books. Not only were we supposed to connect with a character and write a story about them, or a story including them in it, but to also include a sense of direct dialog with them.

I chose to connect to Chris McCandless because while I was reading Into The Wild I realized a lot of the feelings that Chris was feeling were things that I have felt before. He was very easy to relate to and I was constantly hoping that the story’s ending would change, but his life wasn’t a fairy tail and I knew that. 

I am proud of reading the book all the way through because for a while at the beginning I wanted to throw it at the wall. I hated the fact that I knew his fate from the start. I was kind of having a “whats the point?” mentality towards it, but yet I still pushed through and it turned out to be a very well written novel and one of my favorites.

I learned that when writing a paper you have to consider many things and it is somewhat of an endurance challenge on its own. I had to go back and re-write a lot of things, cut a lot sentences, and edit many grammatical errors. 

As I turn the pages in the novel written about some dead guy I’ve never heard of before, I don’t really feel much. This is for school, this is just another book I am being forced to read. Do I want to read this book already knowing the awful fate that awaits the man I’m about to spend hours getting to know, would you? No, you wouldn’t. Unless you’re one of those people who like morbid things and death. I like happy endings so I read books that me and my friends like to call “trashy teen novels.” I don’t know why I never strayed from these types of books. I knew that they sucked but yet there was something about them that made me feel safe and content.

I get this eerie feeling like I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, but yet so is Chris, and I don’t feel so alone. Chris McCandless isn’t your normal human being: he’s adventurous, wild and mysterious. He can’t sit in one place for too long, because it makes him restless and crazy. For most of his life Chris put up this cover that everything in his life would be perfect; he would go to the perfect school, get the perfect grades, and start the perfect family.# Would you be able to hold on to this persona? Masking who you truly are to make someone else proud is not an easy task. I’m sure that all of us at some point in life must have put on a mask, pretending that we are happy for a whole day and then returning to our rooms where it is only you; then you are truly alone with your thoughts and the mask comes off. Chris has forced himself to forget, to go into this zone of complete meditation and block out the world he has grown up in. Now the book has got my attention, I know why this information was documented, why Jon Krakauer# went through all that trouble to retrace the mystery that is Chris McCandless.

I’m feeling worried for the main character in the story, for I have grown quite fond of him. The worse part: I know Chris’s fate is death. I’m having a hard time accepting that. The author is explaining how he has received letters from people about how Chris was insane and that one shouldn’t have bothered writing about such a lunatic. Jon Krakauer is getting off topic, but I’m starting to know why. He talks about others before Chris who have wandered the Earth searching for answers to questions that are so very hard to be solved or understood by “normal” people. All these men have one thing in common; it’s death. Gene Rosellini, John Waterman, and Carl McCunn all died on their journeys to discover themselves. Soon I knew Jon was trying to tell me something, or maybe I just picked it up on my own. This theory– that I’m sure others have thought before me– is Chris knew, way before he started this journey; that he would die. Maybe it was what he had planned all along… What if he really did have no intentions of ever coming back?

The sun is setting and the moon is shining more brightly every minute. My eyelids are getting heavy, and I know that if I don’t close the book now I will never go to sleep.  Lowering the book and turning off the light I drift to sleep, Chris’s adventures still looming in the back of my mind, and a quote that I can’t seem to shake.

“ All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality…. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.”#

The woods are quiet, snow sticks to the ground like it has no plans on leaving anytime soon. A gust of wind blows and I shiver; I am not dressed correctly for the weather. I smell the cool crisp air; it reminds me of a certain rainy day at my aunt’s cabin when I was searching aimlessly for dry wood that our campfire lacked. Everything is damp and the smell of fire is there, but distant. I see a figure run past my line of vision. He is carrying what looks to be a pistol. I’m drawn to the shadows he casts on the trees and the footprints he leaves in the snow; I follow him deeper and deeper into the wild.