Chris had changed. His friends thought that he seemed very introverted, almost cold. It was hard to get him to open up. He was only interested in his studies. That summer his relationship with his parents deteriorated. He was mad at them more often and more closed off. His parents finally got Walt's divorce finalized and they legalized their marriage. Chris decided to bottle up his rage. After receiving his diploma Chris lied to his family about taking another short trip and set out on the road. He donated the balance of his bank account to OXFAM, loaded his car and disappeared.
Yeah, I'll just be taking a "short trip" and visiting our other family.
After some time on his trip he had set himself up at lake mead. He was caught in a flash flood which got his car engine wet. In his impatience he drained the car battery. In order to avoid the aggravation of having his parents contacted by the rangers as well as having to pay fines he decided to abandon the Datsun, burn his money and continue on. For the next two months he enjoyed the thrill of minor brushes with the law and enjoyed the intermittent company of other vaga bonds. He was hired by a man named crazy Ernie who had no plans of paying Chris. Once Chris realized he stole a red bicycle and pedaled to Chicago to continue his trip.
In one of his many letters he sent to people who aided him on his journey, one such was to Westerberg. It read that he was in Arizona and he thanks him for the money because he wouldn’t be able to make it then since their was very little fruiting agriculture for him to eat. He writes that he would have froze to death without the clothes that Kevin gave to him. His next move was to sneak into mexico. After nearly 36 days of being alone in El Golfo de Santa Clara he deserts his canoe and tries to get back into the U.S. During those 36 days he had lived off of a 5 pound bag of rice and whatever marine life he could catch in the sea. He was convinced that the experience meant he could survive on simply meager rations in the Alaska bush.
To: Westerberg From: Alex
In Vegas he got an ID and a job, but itchy feet got the best of him and he set off. He arrived and stayed in Bullhead city for 2 months. Opened a savings account and stated working at Mc Donald's. He applied as McCandless, not as Alex, and gave his actual social security number. He had a thing about wearing socks., but he had to comply with the dress code. He would take them off immediately after work to show just exactly how much he was against them. He was considered a reliable worker.
In London, at a flea market, he decided to oversee Burres’ large inventory of used paperback books. He categorized and made sales. He rebuffed the advances of a young 17 year old girl named Tracy. He had a good time with people so he was no recluse. He was really friendly with people and did a lot of socializing. He needed his solitude at times, but he wasn’t a hermit. He was attentive to Burres. Flirting, clowning, teasing and 'tormenting' her. He was playful like a little kid. He had a way with animals. Burre's pups loved him.
Throughout the story Chris's personality is prominent and shows everything about him from his early years. He was smart, but lacked common sense, patience, and humility. His over-confidence lead most of his actions. At some points he started to return to society bit by bit. He never really thought about the impact everyone made on him during his journey. How they saved him when they gave him clothes or money. It just never clicked in his mind. He was helpful and social with other people, but his relationship with his parents remained just as bad as before. He stayed stubborn and overconfident throughout his journey.