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The difference between someone being considered a hero or a coward really depends on how they ceased to exist. Each death has an impact, and the impact of a death is different for a coward and hero. A hero’s death affects society a lot more than a coward, since society will reflect on all the positive things that person did for the community. Heroes never really die in people’s’ hearts. However, a cowardly man rarely has a big impact on society. In the novel Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer, Chris shows himself to be a coward; one who ran away from his problems while making himself appear like a hero on the surface. Chris pretty much completely abandoned his family. Walt and Billie McCandless might as well have thought their son died two years prior to his real death when he left. He left without a trace; no one could send him postage, contact him, and they didn’t even see him for that period of time until his funeral. Chris not only abandoned his family, he constantly abandoned several people throughout his journey. An example of this could be seen Wayne Westerberg, in dire need of help harvesting, asked Chris to stay a tad bit longer yet Chris refused (40). He had no intention of looking out for anyone but himself unless it was convenient for him. So many people throughout Chris’s adventure spoke of his courage and the good they saw in him, only to be abandoned by the cowardly man himself. This can be seen by his interaction with Ronald Franz, when he literally denounced his religion at the death of Chris, where if Chris had not left after making a connection on Franz he wouldn’t have been as devastated (42). It’s altogether a selfish way of life to inadvertently hurt those around by abandonment.Some may say that Chris was simply following his beliefs in breaking away from society and essentially going “off the grid”. They may even go as far to say that Chris’s actions were brave in themselves. It is undeniably true that doing what Chris did throughout his journey did take more courage than most have. Even from a young age, Chris refused to conform to the norms of society and his successful academic career that came thereafter. He always felt like he was invincible in some way, “He didn’t think the odds applied to him. We were always trying to pull him back from the edge” (76). He wanted to break away from the system, to not be identified as “gifted” or be swayed by material possessions such as money. However it wasn’t Chris’s beliefs in that sense that made him a cowardly man; it was the way he acted upon them. The damage he caused to others by being so careless with his life were in some cases irreparable. He would be a perfect example of a selectively heartless person: one who is nice to many strangers yet callous to those closest to him. This is discrepancy is also pointed out by his father Walt, “‘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?'” (72). This is the biggest irregularity in Chris’s personality, since it gives him the appearance of a perfectly nice and charming young man on the outside while he hurts the people closest to him.Chris should not be looked at as a hero since his actions could have had a bigger impact on society had he applied himself rather than running away from his own problems. He had the potential, talent, and intelligence to really benefit the community in many ways. “Go to school, get a law degree and then you’ll have a real impact” (79). Even his parents from an early age pointed out that he had immense talent but would start half-assing everything part way through. Yet he was too stubborn to listen to anyone, causing problems that he later ran away from in his future. Chris donated all his money in his savings account to charity and “burned all his remaining cash” (20), but if he really wanted to make an impact he had the background to influence those hemispheres on a political/social scale. He could have been a lawyer for the oppressed or less fortunate. However since he didn’t have that thought from the beginning, he would never, ever go down that route. “You attempted to talk him out of something, he wouldn’t argue. He just nodded his head politely and did what he wanted’ (119). He could have used his charm and skills to influence society into helping with various charity events/donations. Yet all he did was run away to Alaska, and influence a few people with his gifted speech and ideals.Chris took the cowardly route over the heroic route simply because it was easier. He helped others when it was convenient for himself. He ran away from his family, dealing emotional damage to everyone close to him. He was a giver in nature (donating to charity), however he had the potential to make a difference on a much larger scale, and those around him told him that. In the end, Chris ran into the wild, putting himself in danger, just to take the coward’s way out of his own problems.