In chapter eight we have another article from William Cronon, titled, "The Trouble with Wilderness, or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature." In this article, Cronon boisterously accentuates his views on the present day definition of wilderness. He argues that prior to the 18th century wilderness was in fact a desolate and satanic habitant in which people should want nothing to do with (216). That disposition was drastically modified during the 18th century when wilderness was, and is to this day, believed to be "sublime" by nature, and even a sanctuary where God Himself resided (217). To Cronon, the idea of wilderness has, in the past century, been diluted because of a newly developed concept; that it can only be found under pristine conditions. He criticizes this by saying that pristine conditions can be considered somewhat of a myth when being referred to in present day "wilderness." Cronon's most supreme personal annoyance was that people believe wilderness can only be found in National Wilderness Areas. When in fact, he argues, wilderness can be found anywhere: the tree in your backyard, the pond down the street, or anything else. He states that if we cannot avoid "dualism," which makes the tree in our backyard artificial, but the tree in the forest pristine, then we will ultimately fail in our goal for nature (234).
I found the entire article to be interesting. At first, I felt that I would be bored by another one of Cronon's rants, but I was surprised midway through the second page. I feel that this might just be a piece of literature that coexists with nature in regards to the power struggle of "nature v. literature." To me, nature always wins, but this genre of literature helps nature succeed and could be accredited to its utter dominance. Which possibly means that literature steps aside so nature can win, because without the beauty which nature possesses, what would writers be left to work with?
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