Visions of Freedom - Comparing the visions of Douglass and Krakauer

Essay by psykokatUniversity, Bachelor'sA, July 2003

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The ability to be independent, to follow our dreams, and to walk our own paths is something many of us take for granted. For some freedom is an illusion, a vision for a better life. Chris McCandless and Frederick Douglass shared this vision. Although their lives were different in many ways, their hope was the same. They each had a dream of being free.

Chris McCandless and Frederick Douglass were two distinctive men. One a slave, the other a young, middle class, white man, they were raised in different eras but shared a passionate hatred for injustice. In Jon Krakauer's book " Into The Wild" (1996), the author comments on Chris's "outrage over injustice in the world," and how Chris took college classes that addressed racism issues and inequalities in the world ( p.123). Chris was intense and outspoken in his beliefs as was Frederick Douglass, who is haunted by songs that "deepen my hatred of slavery," in a narrative written by himself called " Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass" (1997).

Although each of these men led different lives, they both shared the same burning desire for freedom. Chris felt oppressed by his parent's authority and the lifestyle he felt he was forced to live (Krakauer, 1996, p. 64 ). He was willing to do whatever it took to escape and be free of this oppression. After graduating from college Chris told his parents, " I think I'm going to disappear for a while." (Krakauer,1996, p. 21 ). His search for ultimate independence was eternal for " it was the last anyone in Chris's family would ever hear from him "(Krakauer, 1996, p.22 ) . Frederick Douglass also felt oppression as a slave. He stated " The silver trump of freedom has roused my soul to eternal...