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Wilderness, place and nature - Essay Example

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Wilderness Place and Nature
Introduction
Wilderness is a word that is very difficult to define, especially since there is no universally accepted meaning of the term. Initially it is applied to nature as something that is out of the reach of human beings…
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Wilderness, place and nature
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Download file to see previous pages It has been extended to include wildlife. Sometimes the term is also used to define places that are deserted with lack of cultivation. The most modern perception of the word ‘wilderness’ lies in the depiction of areas, which confuse people. It represents mystery. The word can be said to have a dual meaning. On one hand it is inhospitable and threatening and on the other it represents beauty that is capable of providing solace to human eye. (Nash, 10-12, 44-45) The universe is a composition of nature and soul. Nature remains unchanged by mankind. It represents space, the air we breathe, rivers and even the leaves of trees. Every item that is a part of nature leaves a “kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence” (Emerson, 1). It reflects the wisdom and the simplicity of childhood. There is a considerable link between wilderness and nature. The biodiversity of nature is well maintained by the remoteness of wilderness, which directly benefits the former. Absence of artificial barriers in the areas of wilderness helps in the preservation of nature. A place on the other hand refers to any space of the universe that may have definite or indefinite boundaries. There are similarities in the concepts of wilderness, places and nature along with slight differences in the conceptualization of the three. Wilderness, places and nature interact amongst themselves to render a meaning to human lives.        The idea of the term wilderness has been a tenet that is fundamental to the environmental movements that last for decades. It has rather been a passion. The last place on the earth where the artificial civilization of human beings has not yet infected the space with all diseases of the species is termed as wilderness. Wilderness can be termed as an island in the sea of polluted industrialization achieved by the urbane modernity and this term rules out the chances of pollution. Wilderness is that place on the earth where human beings can escape being tired of the artificial happiness that has been created by them in the name of modernization. In the hope of saving the planet from this spread of modernization and hence industrial pollution, there is the need of rethinking wilderness. According to Thoreau, the preservation of the earth and nature lies only in wilderness. Wilderness has been described profoundly as a creation of human beings and not something that is far from the reach of humanity. He expresses his desire to retreat into the wilderness as he comments “Let me live where I will, on this side is the city, on that the wilderness, and ever I am leaving the city more and more, and withdrawing into the wilderness ” (Thoreau 2). Though wilderness seems natural, it hides the unnaturalness behind the mask, which is more captivating “because it seems so natural” from outside. Imaginations and reflections often trick human beings into perceiving the same as “nature when in fact we see the reflection of our own unexamined longings and desires” (Cronon 1). The preservation of wilderness is for the betterment of human beings and needs to be ensured for the ultimate pleasure of them. As the frontier began to fade away, Americans tried to protect the wilderness within specific places termed as National Parks (Cronon, 2). Cronon therefore argues that the wilderness perceived by human beings is not actually a part of nature. For instance, the Indians previously used to live in the wilderness which they called their home but later they were removed from there to give space to tourism activities such that the place could be referred as “uninhabited wilderness” (Cronon, 7). Hence the wilderness in America is very much constructed. It is important for human beings to be a part of nature and accept the same as their ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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