Christopher McCandless
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Self-portrait taken by McCandless before his death Source: wikipedia.com

Christopher McCandless was born in 1968 to Walt and "Billie" McCandless. McCandless was very idealistic, even as a young man. When he was captain of his school's cross-country team, he wanted his teammates to treat running as a "spiritual exercise." He made a comment about the sport saying that it was like they were "running against the forces of darkness ... all the evil in the world, all the hatred." McCandless's first traveling expedition began in June of 1986 where he traveled from his home in Virginia down to Emory University in Georgia. Here, he eventually graduated with a Bachelor's degree in history and anthropology. While in college, McCandless discovered his disdain for the "empty materialism of society." He also dreamed of separating from society for a period of solitude.

When McCandless graduated from Emory, he donated $24,000 to a charity and began to travel the United States. On and off he lived with temporary factory jobs or with no resources at all. He took pride in the fact that he learned to live off of the land with almost nothing. McCandless was often fed by strangers, and its no opinion that he changed the lives of those he talked to.

McCandless often talked about taking trips to Alaska to live off the land and keep journals about his spiritual progress as he lived with nature. McCandless was eventually able to hitchhike to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1992. He found an abandoned bus that he used for shelter and his life in the wild began. He lived at the bus for 113 days before finally passing away of starvation. He wrote his final words on the back of a poem saying "I HAVE HAD A HAPPY LIFE AND THANK THE LORD. GOODBYE AND MAY GOD BLESS ALL!"

I personally find McCandless to fit the criteria of a transcendentalist perfectly. The quote "Simplify, simplify, simplify" by Thoreau reminds me of a quote by McCandless about how having a job is a twentieth century invention and he didn't want one. This places him in the category of nonconformist. Almost everyone believes they need a job to survive, but McCandless didn't. He also had a deep love for nature. He dreamed of just living as one with nature and having an epic spiritual experience. He did as Thoreau did, but took it one step further by not even having a cabin to live in. I believe Thoreau would be proud to see his advice being followed. Thoreau said "Only that day dawns to which we are awake," and McCandless did what he could to be awake. McCandless was a pure example of a transcendentalist and lived the life he believed in.



Paul David Hewson(Otherwise known as Bono)
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Bono source: wikipedia.com

Bono was born May 10, 1960 in Dublin, Ireland. In September of 1974, his mother passed away of a cerebral aneurysm. This event would later inspire many songs in Bono's music career. In 1976, Bono joined a band with other friends and they were known as Feedback. After Dik Evans left the group, the band became U2. The band would go on to become world famous and win 22 Grammy Awards, seven BRIT Awards, 14 Meteor Awards, one AMA, four VMAs, ten Q Awards, two Juno Awards, three NME Awards, and a Golden Globe Awards

Bono's work as a humanitarian began in 1984 with his participation in Band Aid to raise relief money for a famine in Ethiopia. Later on. Bono would visit Ethiopia and become even more inspired to do work helping other causes. In 1986, Bono and U2 performed in Self Aid to protest unemployment in Ireland. Bono himself has met many influential leaders in the world to discuss his views on the AIDS pandemic and other third-world relief methods. In 2002, he coufounded DATA, or Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa, which had a main priority of getting equality for Africa. The Product Red and ONE Campaign were also both formed based on Bono's ideas and hopes for the world.

I believe Bono is an excellent example of a transcendentalist. He exhibits the traits of nonviolent resistance and optimism and confidence in human perfectability. He uses his words in the form of music to express his beliefs about social and political issues. This is an excellent form of nonviolent resistance. As Emerson said, you must "speak what you think today in words as hard as cannonballs." Bono uses his music to do so. When it comes to confidence in human perfectability, he himself is an example. He works so hard for so many causes just to bring relief to those less fortunate. Bono is a very rich man, but he still hasn't lost his morals and continues to work for the greater good. Emerson's quote about a man being a god in ruins could be proven by the existence of Bono. He has had rough times in his life, but he is showing god-like qualities by being so above and beyond the average human being with his charities. Bono seems to be a great person and is an example that hop isn't lost. He is a transcendentalist and fights for a better world.





Stranger in a Strange Land- 30 Seconds to Mars

Enemy of mine, I'll f* you like the devil.
Violent inside, beautiful and evil.
I'm a ghost. You're an angel.
We're one and the same, just remains of an age.
Lost in a day dream, what do you see?
If you're looking for Jesus, get on your knees! (If you're looking for Jesus, then get on your knees! )

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30 Seconds to Mars Source: fanpop.com

Enemy of mine, I'm just a stranger in a strange land.
Running out of time, better go, go, go!
Angel or demon, I gave up my soul,
I'm guilty of treason, I've abandoned control.


Tonight...


The end is coming,
Everybody run now,
We're gonna live forever,
Gonna live forever tonight,
Tonight, Tonight.


The end is coming
Everybody run now,
We're gonna live forever,
Gonna live forever tonight
Tonight, Tonight.


The end is coming,

Everybody run now,
We're gonna live forever,
Gonna live forever tonight,
Tonight, Tonight.
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source: wikipedia.com


The end is coming,
Everybody run now,
We're gonna live forever,
Gonna live forever tonight,
Tonight, tonight.


The end is coming,
Everybody run now,
We're gonna live forever,
Gonna live forever tonight.


Lost in a daydream,
What do you see?
If you're looking for Jesus,
Then get on your knees!


Angel or demon?
I gave up my soul.
I'm guilty of treason,
I've abandoned control. (abandoned control)

Your soul!


Even though this song may not appear to be transcendentalist at first, I believe the deeper meaning in the words are very transcendentalist. The lyric "I'm a ghost. You're an angel. We're one and the same" makes me think of the belief in human perfectability. The writer knows he isn't perfect, but its possible to be like an angel. Another transcendentalist lyric is "Angel or demon, I gave up my soul, I'm guilty of treason, I've abandoned control" could be a reference to nonviolent resistance and nonconformity. When it comes to nonconformity, I believe the writer felt that "Imitation is suicide," as Emerson said. As for nonviolent resistance, the writer went along with society and "gave up his soul." Now, he's guilty of treason against society by denying the things he doesn't believe in.






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Chevelle source: blingcheese.com
Chevelle- Jars

Hold onto chanceLest we bleed ourselvesSave for the petsThey're the loneliestPut into jarsWe'll save this earthPut into jarsWe'll save this earthWe can't both become the same pawn that's made to fallOil that tastes like blood stole the summer scentFrom me to you you're stabbing me through youYou're stabbing you through him and betting most of this worldWe'll add enough of the worldSteal from yourselvesIt never felt so goodAnd feed from their hand's
Confuse by opposites
Put into jarsWe'll save this earth
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source: wikipedia.com
Put into jars
Keep safe this earthWe can't both become the same pawn that's made to fallOil that tastes like blood stole the summer scentFrom me to you you're stabbing me through youYou're stabbing you through him and betting most of this worldWe'll add enough of the worldThis world, we'll add enough of the worldFeeling manic for a dayDepends on the trendsDepends on the surfaceIf the sun never setsWe can't both become the same pawn that's made to fallOil that tastes like blood stole the summer scentFrom me to you you're stabbing me through youYou're stabbing you through him and betting most of this worldWe'll add enough of the worldIs the main thing you'll shoutTill the bitter end into jars´╗┐I believe this song is a direct reference to not conforming to society. This part makes it very transcendentalist. There are also other transcendentalist traits, such as optimism and confidence in human perfectability. When the writer says "We can't both become the same pawn that's made to fall," I believe that the idea of doing what you want and resisting society is being suggested. This is similar to the quote "For nonconformity the world whips you with its displeasure" by Emerson. In order for someone to truly be hisself or herself, he or she is met with negativity and others may force said person to become a "pawn" in society. In relativity to confidence in human perfectability, the lyric "Put into jars, we'll save this earth" means that if humans concentrate on making the world a better place, the chances of it happening are very great. This reminds me of the quote "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself" by Emerson. Both mean that only you can make a difference in your life.




Works Cited
"30 Seconds to Mars - 30 Seconds To Mars Fan Art (12828496) - Fanpop." Fanpop - Fan Clubs for Everything. What Are You a Fan Of? June 2010. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. http://www.fanpop.com/spots/30-seconds-to-mars/images/12828496/title/30-seconds-mars-fanart.

"30 SECONDS TO MARS - STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND LYRICS." Lyrics. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. http://www.metrolyrics.com/stranger-in-a-strange-land-lyrics-30-seconds-to-mars.html.
"Board of Directors | ONE." ONE | International | Fighting against Extreme Poverty and Preventable Disease. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. http://www.one.org/us/about/oneboard.html.

"Chevelle Graphics Code | Chevelle Comments & Pictures." BlingCheese.com - MySpace Graphics, MySpace Comments, MySpace Codes, & More! Web. 22 Mar. 2011. http://www.blingcheese.com/image/code/2/chevelle the band.htm.

Christopher McCandless .net - Biography, Pictures, Videos, & Quotes. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. http://www.christophermccandless.net/.

"Christopher McCandless." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 9 Mar. 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_mccandless.

´╗┐Emerson, Ralph Waldo. "Self-Reliance." The Language of Literature: American Literature. 2000. Arthur N. Applebee, et all, Ed. Evanston, Illinois: McDougal Littell, 2000.

Fry, Maddy. "Bono: Biography from @U2." U2 Home Page: @U2 - U2 News, U2 Lyrics, U2 Photos and More! Web. 22 Mar. 2011. http://www.atu2.com/band/bono/.

"Henry David Thoreau Quotes - Page 8 - BrainyQuote." Famous Quotes at BrainyQuote. 2001. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/henry_david_thoreau_8.html.

"JARS LYRICS - CHEVELLE." Lyrics. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. http://www.songlyrics.com/chevelle/jars-lyrics/.

"Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes." Chebucto Community Net Home Page. 10 Dec. 2009. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Philosophy/Sui-Generis/Emerson/quotes.htm.

Read, Adam. "Chris McCandless Now I Walk Into The Wild Biography | Christopher McCandless Journal." Chris McCandless Now I Walk Into The Wild | Alexander Supertramp | Christopher McCandless Into the Wild. 2011. Web. 10 Mar. 2011. http://www.christophermccandless.info/bio.html.

"Sci-Fi Crimes." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sci-Fi_Crimes.

"This Is War." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Is_War.

"U2 Timeline." U2 Home. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. http://www.u2.com/timeline/.