What Is the Theme of Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild?"

Jon Krakauer's non-fiction book "Into the Wild" has several major themes, including the escape into the frontier, the father-son relationship, materialism and manhood. After graduating from college, the main character, Christopher McCandless, leaves civilization and heads alone into the wilderness, where he tries unsuccessfully to survive on his own.

The exploration of the connection between father and son begins when Chris learns his father has a secret family. He then seeks father figures during his fateful adventure. To avoid participation in the material world, Chris donates money to charity, ditches his car and sets cash on fire. As a young man, Chris is energetic, optimistic and overconfident. He is convinced of his abilities and goals, and that conviction is his ultimate downfall, leading to his death.