Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Into The Wild

We watched a good film last night- "Into the Wild." It's about a college grad who rejects society for all its guidelines, regulations, expectations and separation from nature. He sets off on his own on a wild nature adventure across the country without telling a single person he knows. He invents a new name for himself, burns his social security card, identification, credit cards and (gulp) money, determined to make it on his own, reconnect with nature, and live off the land.

He starts off on his adventure, leaving his family and friends behind. He meets new people along the way who come to love and care for him, but he leaves them behind as well to carry out his mission of living alone with nature in the deserted Alaska wilderness. He finally gets to Alaska, has a great time, faces all the challenges of surviving alone, and for a while, he discovers true happiness. At the end of the movie, however, he realizes that he has made a huge mistake. Happiness, he concludes, is only real when it is shared. He realizes that he has deprived himself of the happiness of sharing his love with others and he has deprived those he left behind of the happiness of loving him.

The most striking part of the film for me was when he draws his last final breath. On his way out of the world, he comes to the realization that if he were only to smile and run into the arms of his worrying and sad parents, he would be giving them everything they ever wanted or needed.

The film shows us how dependent we are on silly little things like plastice ID cards and paper money. It shows us how much of our lives is purely the construct of society. But this film also shows us how rejecting society may not be the answer. Above all, it shows us that relationships with others are necessary and, perhaps, part of our very role in nature and the key to our own happiness.

The film is a true testament to the power we as individuals have on those we encounter. Simple things we do, such as spending time with those that love us and letting new people in can have a tremendous positive affect on those around us. Just giving a little of ourselves can mean the world to others. Maybe happiness comes from within and maybe only we can enpower ourselves to be internally happy in spite of our circumstances, but I truly believe this film's message that happiness isn't real unless it is shared.

1 comment:

Law Student Hot Mama said...

This post is way intense. I don't know if I should comment since I'm so not intense, but anyway . . . I hear the movie is awesome?!