Top-Rated Free Essay

Analysis of Down the River by Edward Abbey

Satisfactory Essays
Ashley Hicks
AP English Period 1
September 26, 2012
Ms. Press
“Down the River” by Edward Abbey In this colorful and passionate essay, "Down the River", Edward Abbey depicts nature as a mysterious and majestic place in order to encourage his open-minded readers to embrace all that it has to offer. He also expresses how both nature and our everyday lives are very similar in that they are mysterious and only understandable in small fractions. His tone of admiration leads the reader to recognize that we as humans tend to not see the reflection of mankind in nature; therefore we stunt our ability to fully appreciate and experience its mystery and beauty. His use of parallel structure and imagery provide the reader with a multitude of reasons to appreciate and adore nature. Abbey uses romanticism to show how very important all the little aspects of nature are. He notices small details that ordinary people wouldn’t recognize or appreciate, such as “the little heart-shaped tracks of the former apparent in the sand”. This suggests that he has a close and intimate connection with nature. For example, when he has his first encounter with a mountain lion, he describes it as a “mutual curiosity”, that they felt more wonder than fear and in that moment he shares a bond with nature and shows us that we as humans can relate to nature in more than one way. He then rejects the quote by Fuller by saying that the world is “comprehensible only in part”, as he is observing only Aravaipa Canyon, and it is “infinitely rich in detail.” The beauty and mystery of nature and of life is what makes it interesting and since they are both so intact with each other, it makes it easier to become connected to nature and be feel the romanticism that he described in the beginning of the essay. In his essay, he shows the reflections of mankind in nature and praises the beauties and wonders of nature and expresses that our world is too magnificent to comprehend. He is mesmerized by all of nature’s unknowns and how we can be so closely related to something and at the same time not understand anything about it.

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Analysis of Edward Abbey

    • 1033 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Edward Abbey’s attitudes toward nature are clearly characterized through his description of the Aravaipa Canyon in New Mexico. Abbey views nature as this magnificent and mysterious concept in life that will forever be unknown, or not entirely comprehensible. His purpose is to show the audience that nature is full of wonder and that there are so many things still to be discovered. He does this by describing the Aravaipa Canyon with intense detail and providing personal experiences for the reader. He is able to grab the reader’s sense of imagery through great adjectives while he displays his knowledge and theories of the canyon and nature as a whole.…

    • 1033 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In the Prose Passage, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s attitude towards nature is very obvious. He illustrates to the reader that he not only enjoys nature, but he is charmed and connected to it. In this passage, he also explores the differences between how adults see nature and how children see nature. Finally, he reiterates his delight and connection to nature in saying, “Yet it is certain that the power to produce this delight does not reside in nature, but in man, or in a harmony of both.” Ralph Waldo Emerson was not only an enthusiastic writer of nature, but an enjoyer of its magnificent features as well.”…

    • 482 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The speaker begins by introducing the water lily as a stage for the activity that goes on around it. He describes “a green level of lily leaves” that “reefs the petal’s chamber and paves the flies’ furious arena,”--a cover for the activity below and the ground for the action above. The picture establishes the speaker’s view of nature as a complex body with layers that reach beyond its seemingly inactive surface. The language used by the speaker to describe the lily leaves, marked by alliteration and subtle imagery, also demonstrates the speaker’s appreciation of the beauty of nature’s “outer surface,” the face it shows most plainly to the casual observer. The speaker also personifies nature by describing it as a “lady” with “two minds,” clearly those that exist above and below its surface. Study these, the speaker notes to himself, and only then can one develop an accurate understanding of the heart of nature.…

    • 597 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Nature- to Build a Fire

    • 1826 Words
    • 8 Pages

    From the bitter, cold winters in Antarctica to the blazing, hot summers in Africa and from the ugly, thick swamplands of Louisiana to the beautiful, clean coasts of Hawaii, nature plays a pivotal role in life on this wonderful planet. Nature is extremely dangerous but it is also a beautiful component of the earth. People view nature in unique ways that are displayed through actions and words. Jack London, author of “To Build a Fire”, and Henry David Thoreau, author of Walden, both value nature and view it in a unique way that is translated to their works of literature. These two authors apply a unique perspective of how nature can apply to everyday life. The aspects of interacting with nature and human emotions analyzed and examined in the works of Jack London and Henry David Thoreau.…

    • 1826 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Poetry essay

    • 1113 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Equally ‘Overlooking the River Stour’ by Thomas Hardy and ‘Landscape’ by Michael Longley portray to the reader that nature can consume and influence mans’ behaviour. They also both highlight how easily things can come and go through our lives unnoticed and insignificant, without realising its value until it’s lost.…

    • 1113 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    First of all, the poem shows several examples of how man should become one with nature. The poem states that nature has a voice of gladness and eloquence of beauty. This excerpt, "The golden sun, the planets, all the infinite host of heaven are shining on the sad abodes of death," is a good example of being a part of nature. Another good example is, "Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim thy growth." Basically, nature is described as a cause of happiness and wise doings.…

    • 444 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    history

    • 505 Words
    • 3 Pages

    The speaker celebrates Nature & reflects upon her as a mirror that matches his happy moods and is a comfort when he has dark thoughts. Man should connect with Nature, listen to her teaching, & receive her “healing sympathy” when he is oppressed by thoughts of death.…

    • 505 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Do you ever forget about the impact nature has on you? Although people do not like to admit it, nature is something many people forget about and, as a result, neglect. Not only does nature keep everyone alive, but it also typically brightens the days of many just by being outside their windows. In the anthology Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World, essays by authors such as Nalini Nadkarni, Al Young, and Jennifer Oladipo explore the importance of nature and growth in human beings. These authors share a common interest in nature, portraying similar messages about nature. In particular, Nadkarni, Young, and Oladipo stress the importance nature has on individuals in their pieces. From reading the essays “A Tapestry of Browns and Greens,” “Silent Parrot Blues,” and “Porphyrin Rings,” we watch the authors grow as people. Through their insight and experiences with nature, the authors show readers how connected people and nature truly are.…

    • 3390 Words
    • 14 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    In this essay, we are told that the author alternates between thinking of the planet as home and as a hard land of exile. The thoughts of despair are introduced in this essay to contrast the beauty of the mangroves. However, ultimately the author has stated explicitly that she finds the possibilities for beauty our planet holds more interesting than the thoughts of despair, which clearly supports the thesis.…

    • 264 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Beauty is found in nature to a point that this unique attributes only found in the world’s characteristics can blind the effects of our ambitions of being close the essence of…

    • 3632 Words
    • 15 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    He talks about how he was fascinated as a kid by the brilliance of nature. He remembers almost every detail: the sound of the “mountain springs,” “this dark sycamore,” and the “hedge rows.” He mentions how he would always reminisce about his experience, which would help keep him keep sane. When he’s there, he’s thinking about his perception of it in the past, and the way he will reminisce about this experience in the future. His perspective on nature changed. Now, he is not only fascinated by its beauty, rather looks at it in a more detailed form, understanding its place in the world as well as how everything in the world is connected with one another. As he grew older he became more mature and wise, which allowed him to see things differently and have a much more deeper understanding of life in connection with…

    • 949 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    In the essay “Nature”, Emerson talks about the true beauty and understanding of nature. He strongly believes in the beauty and love for nature and he believes that all people who see that somewhat have a part of nature in them. “To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature.” (180). This shows that only certain people can see the true beauty of nature when they try and want to. He throuly tries to get this point across throughout the essay. He also believes that your current mood, whether it be gloomy or bright, is reflected on natures current weather patterns. Throughout the whole essay, he also shows his strong belief in individualism. “But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars.” (180). This statement is an example of how being so close with nature can be a way to take part in individualism. Throughout this whole essay, Emerson shows in many ways his strong beliefs in nature itself and also in other beliefs.…

    • 310 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    “, the sight of what is beautiful in nature... could always interest my heart.” – VF was (he is recollecting his childhood, here) a Romantic. Now, he has gone against nature and created something unnatural, P.114…

    • 1652 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Nature, Emerson explains the relationship between man and nature. In the nature, every object is simple and sign of wisdom. In earth, as living creatures, people have pleasures and this is not only because they are human but also due to the nature. When people look at nature, they realize the perfectness, happiness of the nature. They realize the existence of God. Nature makes people realize that they are a part of God.…

    • 1702 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Edward Abbey shows a great respect for nature, elevating it perhaps above men in his essay "The Serpents of Paradise". He does this on many levels and in several ways. His writing shows awe for nature in his very descriptions. The joy he takes in nature shows itself also in the powerful imagery he uses. It is a very raw and emotive feeling he projects, while at the same time in a rational scientific light. His love for the natural world and his elevation of it is powerful and stunning.…

    • 609 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays