Within the book of Into the Wild, we see how the solitude and seclusion from society impact the life of Chris McCandless. One of the effects that we see as a direct result from Chris’ isolation from society is with his emotional intimacy. For a few instances in the book, Chris makes clear tries at establishing friendships with the individuals that helped him along his journey. However, as soon as these friendships become anything more than what Chris desires, he insists on slipping painlessly out of their lives and keeping them at arms-length.
It is first evident that Chris’ separation from society has impacted his life when he went to Los Angeles “to get a ID and a job but feels extremely uncomfortable in society now and must return to road immediately.” This shows that after being secluded from society for some time, Chris has lost touch with society and has been truly alienated. Because of this, Chris feels very out of place and resorts to returning to the wild, where he feels the most comfortable.
It is visible that Chris’ emotional intimacy has declined when a seventeen-year-old of the Niland Slabs named Tracy falls in love with Chris. Still, instead of Chris falling in love with Tracy, he persists on merely being nice to her and not making an attempt at initiating anything. Another clear example that shows that Chris’ emotional intimacy has diminished was when Chris disappeared from Ron Franz’s life. Chris was exhilarated that “he had again evaded the impending threat of human intimacy, of friendship, and all the messy emotional baggage that comes with it.” This clearly shows that Chris has no desires at all to become emotionally attached to any individuals that he encounters and would rather live his own secluded life in the wild.