Analysis of Edward Abbey

Good Essays
Patrick McGihon
P-1
2-10-11

A.P. Analysis

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. Abbey begins the essay with a personal encounter that he had with a mountain lion years ago. He writes that when he had met face to face with the beast, that everything had stopped and he was one and the same with the lion. As they “peered at each other through the gloom,” Abbey felt a sense of “mutual curiosity.” This phrase gives the reader an idea of Abbey’s encounter and how he interpreted it, and how it shows that he is one with the lion, and nature. He then says that he “felt more wonder than fear.” These two abstract concepts are very contrasting. The average person would likely feel fear, but not for the author. He continues to portray his idea of being one with nature by showing his “wonder” in the mountain lion. Following this, Abbey writes how he lost track of time at this moment, saying how five minutes felt like one minute. This tells the reader that when Abbey is in nature, everything else doesn’t seem to exist. In the next paragraph, the author does a superb job in panting a picture of the nature that Abbey loves by describing wildlife. He writes of the Sonoran whitetail and their “little heart-shaped tracks.” He then describes the javelina by saying they are “piglike animals with tusks, oversized heads, and tapering bodies, they roam the slopes

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    Intense imagery, contrasts, comparisons, and parallelism are used in conveying the complexity of her feelings toward nature. She ties in the similarities between the terror-striking reaction to the great horned owl and the heart-striking happiness of a field of roses.…

    • 342 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Contrasting continues throughout the excerpt to display the conflicting character of nature. Nature is so complex that even very similar animals have very differing aspects. Oliver can “imagine the screech owl on her wrist” and she can learn from the snowy owl, but the great horned owl will cause her to “fall” if it “should touch her.” Even though this great horned owl is terrifying, Oliver still is in amazement of it. She says it would become the “center of her life.” While “the scream of the rabbit” in “pain and hopelessness” is terrible, it is not comparable with the “scream of the owl” which is of “sheer rollicking glory.” Nature has extremes, and the owl is the extreme of terror.…

    • 661 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    The road essay

    • 1714 Words
    • 7 Pages

    This is a brief section of the book that really goes into the detail of what the landscape looks like. It is an intense description of how desolate the landscape really is. It talks about charcoal trees as if they had been sketched across the land. This excerpt from the book is a great example of imagery and how it lets the mind depict how the landscape looks.…

    • 1714 Words
    • 7 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

    Aldo Leopold, in his essay collection A Sand County Almanac explores the natural world, and the symbiotic relationship that’s shared between plant and animal, while also insinuating how humans live in opposition to that fragile synchrony, for we live to reshape our environment for contemporary gains. Leopold is able to write the essay as an ecological historian, who’s knowledge comes from the topography of the Wisconsin landscape, the rings of an Oak tree, or a single atom entombed in a limestone ledge. The first two sections of the book gravitate around two opposing forces conservation and modern progress (scientific advancement, economical growth.…

    • 506 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Qualities of relationships have transformed through time along with values, the parallel worlds within postmodern Beverly Hills and Regency England display the contextual shifts brought forth. The bildungsroman novel Emma by Jane Austen exemplifies the strict values within Regency England society whilst Amy Heckerling’s film Clueless illustrates the transformation of these values within Beverly Hills. The values of social status and pride and vanity are explored through the inflexible Regency England society in comparison to the more fluid postmodern society of Beverly Hills. The use of various language and film techniques enhances the observation of the parallel values displayed within both contexts.…

    • 1033 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Cited: Emerson, Ralph Waldo. Nature. The American Experience. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2010. 366-368. Print…

    • 1288 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Westminster Abbey 's Lady Chapel of Henry VII contains a statue of Saint Wilgefortis . It is notable for being the only statue in the Abbey of a bearded woman. Legend has it that Saint Wilgefortis prayed to be made repulsive in order to escape a forced marriage. Her prayers were answered and she was given a beard.…

    • 58 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Era, used his philosophical insight to direct the messages produced in his literature. The characteristics that define a romantic also define the writing style of Wordsworth. His poem entitled Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey provides countless morals that are based off the authors personal experiences. After a return to the cathedral, Wordsworth teaches a lesson learned from the past, present, and then leaves crucial advice to his sister…

    • 787 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    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.…

    • 373 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory 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

    In chapter one the three beginning paragraphs deal with a significant volume of description about the small clearing, detailing a zestful, unworried, natural environment. “Rabbits…sit on the sand,” and “the…flats are covered with the …tracks of ‘coons,” “dogs” and “deer” This exhibits a sense of energy in the passage, because Steinback manipulates the doings of animals to create a lively atmosphere, like how the animals freely pass along the clearing and do what they please (1). A startling contrast to chapter six, where the only two animals described are of the heron “motionless…[standing] in the shallows” and of a water snake “[gliding] smoothly up the pool” (6). Due to the fewer described…

    • 792 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Westminster Abbey, an architectural accomplishment from the thirteenth century on, gives an illustrative display of British history. While daily worship still exists, it isn't a cathedral or a parish church (Internet Westminster). The elaborate Lady Chapel, the shrine of St. Edward the Confessor, as well as tombs and memorials for kings, queens, the famous and great, allow the Abbey to be considered a "Royal Peculiar", which means that it falls under direct control of the British monarch (Internet Westminster). While every king or queen is significant, a small number have made an impact on the Abbey. Nobility of which include St. Edward the Confessor William the Conqueror Henry III, Richard II, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Mary I, Elizabeth I, James I, Charles I, George VI and Elizabeth II.…

    • 3665 Words
    • 15 Pages
    Better 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