Into the Wild and The Futile Pursuit of Happiness

Into the Wild and The Futile Pursuit of Happiness - Khan 1...

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Khan 1 Mariam Khan EXPOS Writing 101: GE Prof. Kjelle Paper #2 (PR) Into the Wild and The Futile Pursuit of Happiness Christopher McCandless was looking for a great adventure when he decided to travel hundreds of miles to Alaska and test himself in the wilderness. During his journey to Alaska, McCandless was more prepared mentally then he was for actually staying in Alaska. He was very passionate and excited about staying in Alaska, but had lacked some important knowledge about surviving in the wilderness. McCandless was not able to correctly predict his experience in Alaska, but a reminder of why he was there served as a constant motivator as he went through many unexpected events during his four month stay. In the end it was his pursuit that proved more valuable than his actual experience. John Gertner, in his essay “The Futile Pursuit of Happiness”, explains how people, like McCandless, are unable to predict how happy or sad they would feel after an event. McCandless was much unprepared for living in the Alaskan wilderness, but he was kept motivated by the books he carried with him. After killing a moose for food, which he later greatly regretted, McCandless was able to move on because he was determined to have a great adventure. McCandless was not well prepared for his adventure, but whenever he was faced with a dilemma, he remembered his pursuit and often times even looked to the books he carried for motivation. Gertner in his essay mentions the work of economist George Loewenstein about “hot” and “cold” states. According to his theory, “hot” state are “those of anxiety, courage, fear
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This note was uploaded on 04/30/2008 for the course WRIT 101 taught by Professor Kjelle during the Spring '08 term at Stevens.

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Into the Wild and The Futile Pursuit of Happiness - Khan 1...

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