Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, Jon Krakauer’s Into The Wild, and Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man

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Earth is a planet filled with upwards of seven billion people. Most will only meet one hundred thousand, and many will not meet even that many. Each and every one of those people have their own life experiences, and each and every one of those experiences are valuable sources of information. When making decisions, it is incredibly important to consider these experiences. Simply disregarding them all is selfish, idiotic, and deadly.

Christopher McCandless made the decision in April of 1992 to venture into the Alaskan wilderness, inspired by the Transcendentalist works of Henry David Thoreau, along with the works of other authors. This decision was made without consulting anyone, and this decision famously ended with
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In 2003, Treadwell was eaten and killed by the bears he spent his life living with. In the documentary based on Treadwell’s life, Grizzly Man, the director Werner Herzog interviews the various people involved, including an expert on the relationship that Native Alaskans have with the wild bears. The man told Herzog that Treadwell’s actions disrespected this relationship at the deepest level possible, and that Treadwell crossed a line that should never be crossed, resulting in his death.

It should be common sense that living with bears for extended periods of time is hazardous to one’s health, but Treadwell ignored this view held by most of humankind. Instead, Treadwell frolicked with the bears and attempted to become both one of them. While his intentions were noble, they were ultimately flawed. Treadwell thought these bears needed protecting, but they did not. Treadwell thought he could be one with them, but he could not. Had he taken the time to listen to what his peers were saying, he would still be alive, and he could be helping the grizzly bears in other, more meaningful ways. Instead, Treadwell decided that he was a savior to these wild creatures, and they decided that he was a meal. Both McCandless and Treadwell were survivalist types who believed that their ways of living were more important than their safety. They both made

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