March 6, 2014
The Critiquing I am doing is an article called “The separation of wild animal nature and human nature in Gilgamesh: Roots of a contemporary theme” by the author of the name Patrick Barron. His thesis is “Examining the literary theme and mechanics of the separation of wild animals and humans reveals greater implications, including the desire to leave civilization and return to the wild, human attempts to reconcile the loss of contact with wild animal nature, and potentially destructive and tragic after effects.” The points I am trying to make in critiquing this article are the different relationships of human vs. nature in other stories and in Gilgamesh, how human and nature affect our stories and how they both tie into each other. Also how humans and civilization have a big impact on nature and wildlife is my main point that I am trying to express in this story.
My first point is when he talks about how the treatments of animals in literature and in the art form in general can and will be defined as to an extent, according to the way in which human and animal ways are depicted. He uses this first point to tie in how animal and human relationships somehow closes “the gap” he states. He uses writers such as Aesop’s fables, and the tales and stories of the so called “nature faker” like writes such as Ernest T. Seton and other various authors that used nature or made up some form of an animal to use in their stories.
Free Willy the film is a good dramatized way to show how the human desire to escape or even come to the terms with the limitations of a civilized world while we seemed to be searching for something that is lost in our lives. Stories like Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Jack London’s Call of the Wild tend to help us depict the realistic side of humanity. It is somewhat of a compromise with our society to adapt to nature and to be more closely aligned with both wild animals and the wilderness.
My second point starts when he starts talking about the story of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is one of the most important writings that we have to date and is one of the oldest stories known to man. It is or if not the first story that uses and shows how the relationship of man and nature are being unfolded to tell the story of Gilgamesh. This story is a key point to unlocking the roots of the front running dilemma of the severance of humanity form wild animal to nature to a human relationship. In the story it shows how the half animal and half man Enkidu loses his intimate contract with nature and wild animals and is forever humanized and then civilized by a prostitute. He is brought to the city and that’s when he meets his inseparable friend Gilgamesh. This is the start of the great friendship and it the start of the human and nature interlocking throughout the story. My third point is to show how in the story of Gilgamesh represent how civilization uses nature and takes away for what it has to offer and just uses it up for the benefit of man. Gilgamesh represents civilization and humanity and Enkidu represent nature and wildlife. Together they fight and kill the protector of the cedar forest his name is Humbaba. In doing this it shows how Enkidu goes against his ways of nature and of being an animal like being and this is what starts his downfall. They also kill the bull of heaven together and it makes the Gods mad and he dies at the hands of the Gods. This leaves his friend Gilgamesh very sad and he takes fault for his death. He ends up going half crazy and is left to wonder and searching in vain for a way to bring his best friend back to life. This just goes to show you that Gilgamesh to Enkidu under his wing and taught him the ways of the world and of civilization and it led to Enkidu’s death and demise. He went way from being one with nature and animals. He in some sense lost his innocent and purity to the way of man and it was his down fall. It paints a...
Cited: Barron, Patrick. "The Separation of Wild Animal Nature and Human Nature in Gilgamesh: Roots of a Contemporary Theme." (September 2002): 1-20. Web.
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