John Muir

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Brendon Guichet
HIST 1020
John Muir paper
In a lifetime of exploration, writing, and passionate political activism, John Muir made himself America's most expressive spokesman for the mystery and majesty of the wilderness. A crucial figure in the creation of our national parks system and a visionary forecaster of environmental awareness, he was also a master of natural description who suggested with exceptional power and intimacy the landscapes of the American West. “The Boyhood of a Naturalist” is Muir's account of growing up by the sea in Scotland, of coming to America with his family at age eleven, and of his early fascination with the natural world. As a boy, Muir was "fond of everything that was wild” and took great pleasure in the outdoors. He explored nature with an intellect of no other and articulated a great concern toward animals and everything that surrounded him. In 1849, Muir and his family immigrated to Wisconsin. The great forests of Northern United States captivated him and fueled his desire to learn more. In Wisconsin Mr. Muir commenced in farming along with his brothers and father. The whole family had to work very hard to help clear the land and run the farm. A lot of the responsibility fell to John as the oldest son, since his father was often away doing church work. He had a great interest in and love of nature and all living things. "Of the many advantages of farm life for boys, one of the greatest is the gaining a real knowledge of animals as fellow-mortals, learning to respect them and love them, and even to win some of their love”.

Another way that Muir relates his writing to the surrounding nature is the way he loved his animals. John was extraordinary when it came to recounting his occurrences with nature and animals. John writes, “She was the most faithful, intelligent, playful, affectionate, human-like horse I ever knew, and she won all our hearts”. John even appreciated women especially his mother by studying birds. He...
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