The thing about nature is that it, in comparison to its definition, is always changing. Additionally, nature means something else to everyone. Some people view nature as a window into freedom, while some people see nature as a scary entity that should not be tampered with.
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Some think that nature is a source of material while some think that it should be protected at all costs. Though there are altered views on nature across the globe, the fluctuating definition can be tamed towards a single definition by using differing opinions from refutable sources. Sources like that include, but are not limited to, naturalistic writers who have devoted their life to either nature or nature writing. A few of these writers are William Cronon, Chief Seattle, Rick Bass, and Jon Krakauer. Through these authors differing views on nature seen in their individual works of literature, a definition of nature, how it must be treated and maintained, and why it matters can be drawn.
Rick Bass, a journalist for the Sierra Magazine wrote a piece of literature in 2001 titled Why I Hunt (Dorbin.) In his opening statement to his writing, he discusses one of the multitudes of reasons why he likes to hunt being all the reaping gained from nature over the year, so his family can survive the winter (Bass 133.) Bass goes on to state his individual definition of nature stating, What heaven is this into which we’ve fallen? (Bass 134.) Bass views nature as a greater work of art from a higher power designed to give life to humanity alike. William J. Cronon is a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, who wrote a piece titled The Trouble with Wilderness (Dorbin.) Cronon tells his reader it is time to rethink the definition of Wilderness. He discusses that when nature is viewed by society what they see is the reflection of what they want and desire, not what wilderness realistically means (Cronon 12.) He takes a stance telling the reader that wilderness is not the contributor to societies problems but instead it is society’s view on wilderness. Cronon then goes on to discuss how beautiful nature and wilderness is and how its pleasing traits would continue without the growth of humanity (Cronon 12.) Jon Krakauer takes a slightly different stance on the definition of nature. Krakauer is a contributing editor for a magazine named Outline who also wrote the book Into the Wild, a detailed account of a man named Christopher McCandless’s harsh fate into the Alaskan wilderness (Dorbin.) Krakauer wrote an essay which explains his journey climbing Devil’s Thumb called The Devil’s Thumb. In his essay he explains how he gets there and how he survives. He discusses his solo trip and his attempts to hitchhike in cars to get to the summit of the peak.
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