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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I only recently started reading Into the Wild by John Krakauer and I, in the beginning, took a general dislike of the book. It was just a biography to me, so it didn't seem very special, but now after reading ahead some of my classmates I find myself interested as to what personality type he was.

I've read articles that have said that he's an INTJ. I'm new to all of this, and so I won't argue by saying that he's not that, but my teacher pointed out something interesting to me today.

She said that Chris was a very hands-on person, as shown by how he impulsively took off, and love nature. Which was one of the reasons why he took off into the wild, because he found it mesmerizing. His fascination by all the authors, such as Jack London, made his eagerness even more stronger than before.

To my extended belief, Chris sounds like a sensor because he's a little impulsive, he enjoys nature. I have to say, it gets conflicting by how smart he is, and how dreamy and idealistic he gets. If by any chance he's an intuitive, he would have to at least be a perceiver. Just by how impulsive he is, and how sometimes when he changed course (as when he had to leave his car), instead of reacting badly, he enjoyed the spontaneity.

I won't even discuss if he's a Thinker or not. To me he seems like he could be both, but then again I'm inexperienced in typing people.
I haven't seen the movie, just the trailer, and to be honest Emile Hirsch gives Chris a very sensitive look to him, which won't help in typing him. I don't suggest not looking at the movie, but because I want an accurate type for him, the book seems a little more reliable.

Does anyone else have any other guesses?
 

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he reminded me a lot of an enfp. maybe infp. i could relate to him alot. extraverted intuition would probably lead him into doing the wild things he did, and fi to support his firm beliefs. actually when i read the book a couple years ago, i was like holy crap this guy sees life the way i do! and it made me so happy and inspired that he saw life in such a special, unique way most people miss.
he was impulsive but he always had a deeper meaning behind his impulses because he was trying to squeeze every last bit out of life.

it's pretty clear he saw the bigger picture. he seemed kind of angered at the fact that many of the people in his life.. especially his family members were always focused on material things, accomplishments, things that are very surfacy and stuff Fi users can see through. i loved the letter he writes at the end of the book to ron, and i always find myself re-reading it when i'm feeling less than passionate about life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I do agree with the fact that he could be N. I read some parts of the book and people described him as seeing more the forest than the trees. He just saw the big picture.
 

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i got infp... and im not saying that cause i want him to be or cause i like the guy. But that just seems like something i could see myself doing. his intense idealism and relentless pursuit of not compromising.... yea. His actions and motivations seem like an extreme side of my personality that I could see myself giving into given the right circumstances/knowledge.
 

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When i read the book I pegged him as an INFP. The guy was completely anti materialistic and his very
idealistic nature that led him on his strange quest is what made me think he was an N. He defiantly saw
the big picture and didn't really plan anything at all( which ended up killing the fool). I didnt really see any logic in him, he was just led by his feelings the whole time. i saw him as clearly an introvert, he was alone in Alaska and most of his journey. He liked being around people, but i found he preferred to be alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you, guys. I really think I get the INFP feeling too. I read the book a bit more and it seems that it fits more and more. Thank you, for posting. :)
 

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I can see INTJ. He's highly comfortable with solitude, and is very introspective. He's clearly a big picture person that looked to the future. He did not make wholly logical decisions, but did not stray from his goal, even to the point of selfishness. He didn't just abandon everything behind. His departure was planned, and staged expertly. Plus, he clearly had a plan for getting to Alaska. I haven't read the book, and am more familiar with the film (my fourth favorite of all time,) so I could be going off of the film version.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, I find Chris McCandless a very interesting person, and all of you guys seem to make sense. I do think that he was more of a perceiver than a judger, but that was because I think he's a bit impulsive. With leaving his car and not even thinking it bad. He's even sometimes described as someone who thrives on unexpected change. Well, in the book, and in my opinion that's how it looked.
I'm not sure though. But thanks to all of you who are posting. Thank you all.
 

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He was probably Fi dom, not Ni dom. He was extremely sensitive to the conformity/corruption in society, unnatural ways of living, hypocrisy of his parents.. etc., a free-spirit who didn't want to be bound by anyone elses prescribed ways of life. He felt this deeply.. so much it caused such a stirring in his soul that he abandoned everything -- money/parents/society. Ni doms aren't typically moved in that way. They can more easily weather society's bullshit, co-exist, not give in, but not feel just a total push to run from it all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
He was probably Fi dom, not Ni dom. He was extremely sensitive to the conformity/corruption in society, unnatural ways of living, hypocrisy of his parents.. etc., a free-spirit who didn't want to be bound by anyone elses prescribed ways of life. He felt this deeply.. so much it caused such a stirring in his soul that he abandoned everything -- money/parents/society. Ni doms aren't typically moved in that way. They can more easily weather society's bullshit, co-exist, not give in, but not feel just a total push to run from it all.

I think this would account to some people's guess that he's a INFP, it all seems to fit. :)
 

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I haven't read the book (I keep meaning to!), but I have seen the film. It's one of my absolute favourites; it affected me pretty deeply. I got somewhat of an INFP-ish vibe as well...

One particular quote from that movie stood out very strongly and relatably to me (I'm an INFP), and I've referenced it many times since:

"I read somewhere... how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong... but to feel strong." -Christopher McCandless

I can't decide if that sounds like something and INFP would typically say or not, but I do relate to it. Maybe because that's something I'm always searching or striving for... the ability to feel strong even though I know I'm not a lot of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I haven't read the book (I keep meaning to!), but I have seen the film. It's one of my absolute favourites; it affected me pretty deeply. I got somewhat of an INFP-ish vibe as well...

One particular quote from that movie stood out very strongly and relatably to me (I'm an INFP), and I've referenced it many times since:

"I read somewhere... how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong... but to feel strong." -Christopher McCandless

I can't decide if that sounds like something and INFP would typically say or not, but I do relate to it. Maybe because that's something I'm always searching or striving for... the ability to feel strong even though I know I'm not a lot of the time.
Wow, thank you. A lot of people seem to say that he is an INFP, and I believe that he is. I mean, some of the descriptions of him in the book just make me think of at least part of infp, but I could be wrong. However, its the most I've got so far from you guys, and it seems to fit. Thank you. :)
 

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xNFP 4w5 so/sp

I have the same fantasies as him, and i share some frustrations he had too just like him (also about leaving family & friends - even the ones you love).

He actually did it. He actually followed it. I had those fantasies already before i saw the movie and knew who he was.
 

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I read this book a very long time ago so I don't remember the specifics, but I think Se is strong here. Maybe ISFP because of how he left so quickly and kept going from place to place.
 

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Heh were watching this movie on my stat class! As for a type I haven't finished the movie but he gives me infj vibes, but that is probably a transcendentalist bias...because he likes trandscdndentalism and it generally makes me think infj <3
 

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I think infp. Heavy intellectualism w adventurous spirit definitely is understanding of people, open minded but ultimately a loner.
 

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Chris Johnson "Alex" Mccandless (AKA Alexander Supertramp) reads to me as an ISFP.

Most of what I conclude is based on watching the documentary Return To The Wild: The Chris Mccandless Story. You could skip to 19 minutes and 26 minutes into it to get at the references to what I'm about to highlight.

You could also watch this:


The further along he was in college (focus on history and anthropology) and the more tense his relations were with his parents, the more he was in the grip of inferior Te. This is why he makes the decision and plan to swiftly end his connection with his parents without them even knowing, intentionally made it difficult for them to find out where he had gone, and though he had told his sister in letters the general idea of his intentions he also ceased communication with her to more completely cover his tracks. As impulsive as people said it seems to be, it was planned for in advance.

(read http://personalitycafe.com/isfp-articles/76773-recognizing-inferior-function-isfps.html in particular the last paragraph of "Lengthy Episodes in the Grip" and also the section following on its heels, "Return of Equilibrium")

The rest of his adventures are what allow him to freely be himself. Much less often is he in the grip of inferior Te. He is self-directed and in complete charge of his life and moral compass. As a vagabond, he answers to no one. He does as he wishes without a sense of guilt. Some people call him selfish, when quite frankly he was just being true to himself- the token signature of Fi.

To say casually that he was finding himself doesn't do it justice, because he knew who he was, he'd just grown up in an environment that his own siblings have described as "toxic". To not be tethered to any of the things that go against his personal values, and certainly not beholden to nor manipulated by the behavior of his deceitful -and in hardcore denial- parents definitely aligns with Fi-dominant mindset.


I found this comment which was written in 2008, "Chris McCandless was the son of Walt and Wilhelmina McCandless. He grew up in an affluent neighborhood in Annandale, Virginia and had a fairly well-adjusted childhood. He was athletic and determined. In high school, he was the captain of his cross country team. He graduated from W.T. Woodson High School and went to Emory University in Atlanta, GA, where he majored in history and anthropology. According [to] the book, he was considered abnormally strong-willed and stubborn as a child, always wanting to push boundaries."

The assumption of a fairly well-adjusted childhood is up for debate. His parents' lack of acknowledgement of their own actions and the negative impact on their children is a dismissal of the reality that he and his siblings knew. There is a fixation that Chris seems to have upon truth, and he shows disdain for hypocrisy. His rejection of materialism isn't so much a type 5 instinct as it is a refusal to be bought off by his parents; money can't ever atone for the wrongs that were done and the accountability not taken. He doesn't want their help. His self-reliance is less a noble, survivalist approach and more a giant: Fuck you, I don't need your false & vain source of comfort. These things don't make what you've done right. I'll make it on my own. I reject your world view.


In his own words, Chris disavows human relationships and instead ascribes joy to the natural world and to acquiring new experiences beyond the horizon. It's only after reading "Family Happiness" by Tolstoy while in the wilderness alone for a couple months that he feels drawn to leave Alaska. One can only speculate why the timing is such, what it was in the story that caused him to realize that it was time for him to go. His journal entries are so brief, concise. The ones that could imply more if he'd elaborated hold a meaning that could only be known for certain by him, now.

Inferior Te caused him to make this plan and prepare only minimally for it, for to do otherwise would render it less than a true adventure. He's been criticized for not taking a map with him by those who know from personal experience the unforgiving nature of the wilds of Alaska.

When I'm stressed out I can become rude and critical of others. I tend to insult them, saying things I find to be true about them and act like what they're trying to do is never going to be good enough. In these circumstances I'm so disgusted with myself that I'm not even sure how to apologize.

In addition, I'm not sure if this is Te or not, but when I'm reading directions I sometimes trick myself into believing that I don't need them and deviate from what they say, trying to do it my own way. It often ends up not working out and then I have no choice but to go back and consult them again.
One article about Chris goes so far as to say that nothing about the planet in this era is unexplored, there are no new lands, and this reality didn't fit with the notion of a fantasy of discovering unexplored territory for Chris; a map would have dashed the novelty of Chris' adventure into the untamed wilderness.

Inferior Te caused him to see Alaska as his final adventure in the grand scheme of things, only for him to come to a realization that caused him to want to leave early -- as his goal was 100 days in the wilderness, which he stayed for after deciding he was stuck behind swelling river water.

When he turned back from the river, returning to the Magic Bus, the odd thing is that he seemingly didn't bother traveling up or down the river to find a more passable section of it. That was my first thought: why didn't he assess somewhere else to safely cross? My instinct was right: I later read that if he'd explored, he could have found within a mile that there was a hand-operated tram that he could have transported himself across the river with.

To assume that every foot of the river would be impassable is very short-sighted and ignorant of possibility, considering how many miles he trekked to get where he was. He should have considered another route. Why didn't he? Perhaps he shrugged with whimsy and accepted the swelling river water as some kind of sign that he should stay instead of leave early (Se-Ni).

From my personal experience with INTJs, their Extraverted Thinking is developed well enough that a strategy would surface to solve the problem with a much bigger perspective of how to do so; Chris Mccandless isn't INTJ, is much more ruled by personal principle than by logic or the logistical parameters of any given circumstance. As much as he wanted to push boundaries, it sure wasn't in an INTJ way.

If he'd explored that while he was still healthy, able-bodied, before the L. Canavanine in the wild potato seeds he'd been eating took its toll on his body some weeks later, he'd likely still be alive.


Those who see INFP or ENFP in Chris' character are perhaps honing in on the vibrancy with which he interacted with others. I'm not entirely sure what his enneagram type is, but the motivation therein could provide the reasons for his tendency to excel, to be successful, charismatic, but ultimately to throw off society's standards in search of his own personal fulfillment. It could also explain his dislike of particular things- for example, falsehood. (https://www.slideshare.net/alvinchen977/diary-of-chris-mccandless)


An interesting footnote to the events is that Chris told the man who last saw him alive that he only had pocket change left. In truth, he had $300 in his wallet, which was in a hidden compartment of his trekking pack, and though the pack was found his wallet wasn't discovered in it for several years. His wallet contained several forms of I.D. as proof that the pack in the bus near his corpse was in fact his -- which would have quickly answered the question of who he was when his body was found, instead of taking weeks. When rolls of film of photos he'd taken were developed, it was discovered that he had taken a photo of wads of cash set aflame to burn, which makes it rather funny that he'd kept 3 one hundred dollar bills to fall back on if/when he needed to. As much as he disliked money and wanted nothing to do with his parents' money, he wasn't a complete fool with nothing to fall back on.


To wrap this up, here's the best article I've read on the subject (http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wi...y-are-we-still-talking-about-chris-mccandless), and here's one person's take on the story of Chris Mccandless in a video.

 
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