Into the Wild
Me and Qasim Aziz discuss the movie Into the Wild, beginning with how, for some reason, the protagonist reminds him of me.
Me: What do you think it is about the protagonist that reminds you of me?
Qasim: I know its weird. You are a responsible guy but I think for some odd reason I always think about you when I watch that movie. Two things. Firstly, both of you are intelligent young reflective people (from middle class) but somehow victims of social alienation. Secondly, his journey for self-discovery via radical means. I know you never display such romantic notions about nature but still it reminds me of you. Finally, I can't think of any rational justification for this comparison. More of an intuitive thing.
Me: Thanks. I am still flattered by the comparison :) McCandless was indeed on a journey of self-discovery, but he was also on a journey of healing. The particular wounds he had necessitated this delving into the wild as the only means of cure. We witnessed him purge his soul; and even though we may never undertake this radical journey ourselves, nor it may work for us, but watching him go through it helps us imagine purging our own souls and feeling existentially refreshed, at least for the duration of the movie.
Qasim: Agreed, but don't you think he realizes eventually that all along he made a mistake in leaving his family and community? The realization comes too late I guess. Hence his dying remark that 'Happiness is real when shared'. He ignored the value of dependency.
Me: Yes, he does realize that in the end. Only in the wilderness and isolation where names are of no significance does he come to realize the importance of 'calling each thing by its right name.' But it is also true that without this journey, he would never have realized this at all.
Qasim: Like a tragic hero from Greek mythology :)