Describe/Explain Chris McCandless' character change throughout his journey.
Chris was like Billie's father. Chris adored him and was influenced by the old man's affinity for the wilderness. Chris brought home A's with little effort, he shared Walt's musical aptitude, but he resisted instruction of any kind. He was adamant about his ideals and would rather have an F as a grade instead of following a stupid rule. He quit band because of the rivalry with his sister although he was still really nice to her and really protective. He had little patience to learn the finer points of the many sports he tried.
The only way he cared to tackle a challenge was head on and in the moment; all while applying the full brunt of his extraordinary energy. He eventually took up running as a full time hobby. He enjoyed it because it rewards determination more than finesse or cunning. He was so happy when he finally beat their dog, Buck, back to the house.He was really into pushing himself. If he did worse than expected he would internalize his disappointment, close himself off, and beat himself over it.
Chris took life’s inequities to heart. He wanted to do something about the racial oppression in South Africa right then and there. He would suggest ideas of he and his classmates could could raise money to go there on their own. On weekends while most enjoyed a party, Chris would spend his time talking to prostitutes and homeless people. He would buy them meals, and earnestly suggest ways they might be able to improve their lives. It didn't sit right that anyone would be going hungry. He couldn’t understand how that could possibly be allowed.
His parents got him to enroll at Emory college even though he thought it pointless and a waste of time. He believed that he didn't need it. Chris believed wealth to be shameful, corrupting and evil, ironic because he was a natural born capitalist/entrepreneur. Chris worked as a salesman for a short while. After a few months he had half a dozen other students working under him. He had saved up $7,000 in his bank account and bought himself a yellow Datsun. His extraordinary knack for selling had his the owner of the construction company offering to pay for his college education if he continued to work for them. Chris didn’t even consider it.
Chris went out on his own and drove across the country over summer. He returned 30 pounds lighter, with a scruffy beard, and a story of how he almost succumbed to dehydration in the Mojave Desert. When his semester started he insisted that he take his machete and deer hunting rifle with him. He still had his scraggly beard and worn out clothes. After 90 days his peppy roommate dropped out and Chris made the Dean’s list. He eventually became thrilled to be there.
Chris was good at almost everything he ever tried, making him extremely overconfident. He readopted his clean cut look and brought home nearly perfect grades. He started writing for the school newspaper. The following summer Chris worked at his parents company, developing computer software. He made a flawless program that both his parents still use and have sold to many clients. Walt asked him how he did it, how it works, but Chris told him that all he needs to know is that it works. He was generous and caring to a fault, but he was plagued by monomania, impatience and self-absorption which intensified throughout his college years.