"Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild." This is one of the infamous quotes from the movie "Into the Wild a movie about a college graduate who is looking for more than just the social norms out of life. I feel what Gramsci is trying to convey in his overly worded essay of Intellectuals and Hegemony is what Chris McCandles believes., that there are social positions and you are destined to be "stuck" with them. There is one instance in the movie when he is talking about society in regards to how violent, judgmental and controlling it really is. He was trying to live his life without having to deal with that since he seems to have tried it already. He graduated college tried to see what life would offer him if he "followed the rules" and he ultimately rejected it along with all the material possessions. When he graduates college, he goes into a speech about how his parents lived their life and how it seemed to be a big mistake when he really was reading a passage by Sharon Olds. You immeditatly get the feeling he's the kid that walks to his own beat and questions life.
Besides the in your face signs that he rejects society by burning his social security card and money there are many subtle signs that he doesn't care what society or his peers think of him. When he's in the restaurant with his extremely stuffy upper class family they are telling him they are getting him a new car as a gift. Chris rejects it right away and asking his parents if their worried what the neighbors will think about his crappy car. He states that everything about their life is about "things." His definition of "things" is most likely all the items that society makes you feel you need like a new car, or fancy clothes when all he feels you need is to be free to do as you please and experience life!
Chris felt money and power were an illusion to make peoples lives better, he also thought college was absurd, you understand this when he says "Mr. Franz I think careers are a 20th century invention and I don't want one." Gramsci would have a field day with this, in his essay he states in his first paragraph "catergories of intellectuals already in existence and which seemed indeed to represent an historical continuity uninterrupted even by the most complicated and radical changes in political and social forms." Chris doesn the exact opposite of what Gramsci feels we should do, he throws a wrench into societies plans by rejecting a career and getting back to nature. What I understand from Gramsci is that there is always some one who is above you in a more authoritative position than you and what you're supposed to do is follow, almost blindly. As you said in class, why do we follow this, why do we allow people to get away with this? Chris didn't let the social pressure make him feel he had to do anything, he wanted to live free and see what it was like to live life without boundries. this is seen by this quote from Chris "So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future."
Throughout the movie you see him sometimes imagining what his life would be like is he followed the rules of graduating college, getting a job, maybe getting married and he runs from it. Most of this fear probably comes from his own family life which had many bumps and twists within it's self. He saw what his parents lives had turned into and he didn't want that for himself. he went from an upper class person to a lower class "freeloader" due to him living off the land. Although Chris dies in the end of the movie from starvation in Alaksa by himself it was all worth it to him. He seems to have tested his theory that one can live life without conforming to social norms, I beleive Chris dies feeling accomplished knowing he touched every aspect of the world and rejecting society. A Marxist would see this film being filled with questions of why social positions are the way they are.