Christopher McCandless?? | INFJ Forum

Christopher McCandless??


May 9, 2008
Here are my quotes from Death of An Innocent, about Christopher McCandless. pulled
to support my idea that he was an INFJ.

"And although he wasn't burdened with a surfeit of common sense and possessed a
streak of stubborn idealism that did not readily mesh with the realities of
modern life.

"An extremely intense young man, McCandless had been captivated by the writing of
Leo Tolstoy. He particularly admired the fact that the great novelist had
forsaken a life of wealth and privilege to wander among the destitute. For
several years he had been emulating the count's asceticism and moral rigor to a
degree that astonished and occasionally alarmed those who knew him well.

"And totally honest–what you'd call extremely ethical. He set pretty high
standards for himself.

"In fact, I think maybe part of what got him into trouble was that he did too
much thinking. Sometimes he tried too hard to make sense of the world, to figure
out why people were bad to each other so often. A couple of times I tried to
tell him it was a mistake to get too deep into that kind of stuff, but Alex got
stuck on things. He always had to know the absolute right answer before he could
go on to the next thing."

"there was some $20,000 in this account at the time of his graduation, money his
parents thought he intended to use for law school. Instead, he donated the
entire sum to the Oxford Famine Relief Fund.

"Chris McCandless intended to invent a new life for himself, one in which he
would be free to wallow in unfiltered experience.

"How is it," he wonders aloud as he gazes blankly across Chesapeake Bay, "that a
kid with so much compassion could cause his parents so much pain?"

As early as third grade, a bemused teacher was moved to pull Chris's parents
aside and inform them that their son "marched to a different drummer."

"He'd tell us to think about all the evil in the world, all the hatred, and
imagine ourselves running against the forces of darkness, the evil wall that was
trying to keep us from running our best. He believed doing well was all mental,
a simple matter of harnessing whatever energy was available.

"Chris didn't understand how people could possibly be allowed to go hungry,
especially in this country," says Billie McCandless, a small woman with large,
expressive eyes–the same eyes Chris is said to have had. "He would rave about
that kind of thing for hours."

For months he spoke seriously of traveling to South Africa and joining the
struggle to end apartheid. On weekends, when his high school pals were attending
keggers and trying to sneak into Georgetown bars, McCandless would wander the
seedier quarters of Washington, chatting with pimps and hookers and homeless
people, buying them meals, earnestly suggesting ways they might improve their
lives. Once, he actually picked up a homeless man from downtown D.C., brought
him to the leafy streets of Annandale, and secretly set him up in the Airstream
trailer that his parents kept parked in the driveway. Walt and Billie never even
knew they were hosting a vagrant.

McCandless's personality was puzzling in its complexity. He was intensely
private but could be convivial and gregarious in the extreme. And despite his
overdeveloped social conscience, he was no tight-lipped, perpetually grim
do-gooder who frowned on fun.

McCandless could be generous and caring to a fault, but he had a darker side as
well, characterized by monomania, impatience, and unwavering self-absorption...."
Sounds INFJ to me.
I read Into the Wild and he seems REALLY INFJ. That or INFP, but he was really "on a mission" in a sense.
But surely if he had been a J he would have prepared himself better, no?

I've only seen the film so it makes it hard to judge. But he looked very impulsive. Looked like he didn't really plan out how he was going to survive, etc. What would he have done without the bus? Shoudln't he have thought about the river thing? Etc.
Man, I read Into the Wild, and the things he did ripped my heart apart. The idea of being alone in the wilderness, just taking it all in, and thinking about and feeling the world around, without any sort of interference...imagining it made my chest kind of fill up with the idea. It really spoke to me, and I wanted to live like that too. I really wanted to live like that.
We had to read that book in 11th grade, and I think I was the only one who liked it. Everyone else thought he was stupid; I thought he was more intelligent than most. Why go out into the wilderness unprepared if you're just going to die? Well, why conform to society and live like a robot, instead of diving into your senses, even if it means the end comes quicker?

I wouldn't be at all surprised if he was INFJ, if maybe on the extreme side.
He was different in the movie I think, maybe more isfp. He was on a huge Se binge I think. I think infj but I'd have to read again or find more material because infp or isfp could work too.