Evelyn White Women

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“Each house-hunting trip I’ve made to the countryside has been fraught with two emotions: elation at the prospect of living closer to nature and a sense of absolute doom at what might befall me in the backwoods” (White 1064). In her essay, “Black Women and the Wilderness, Evelyn White describes her contradictory feelings about nature, and throughout her text, her experiences display a very complex perspective of nature. Raymond Williams, in his article, “Nature” describes the word ‘nature’ as the most complex word in language (Williams 219). When referring nature, people generally think of it representing something of peace, comfort, and a place where most can feel safe, almost as if it were a home. White revises our understanding of nature…show more content…
In this passage, she illustrates her differing perspectives of nature. “While the river’s roar gave me a certain comfort and my heart warmed when I gazed at the sun-dappled trees out of a classroom window, I didn’t want to get closer” (White 1063). From the “inside”, White feels comfort and warmth from the view of the trees and the sound of the river. Here, from a distance, she is comfortable, but then does not want to get any closer, and would rather keep the distance between her and nature. She prefers to stay away, depicting an image to the reader that she is on the inside looking out of a window of nature. Evelyn White continues, “certain if I ventured outside to admire a meadow or to feel cool ripples in a stream, I’d be taunted, attacked, raped, maybe even murdered because of the color of my skin” (White 1063). This perspective, illustrates what she believes would happen, if she were to go “outside”. The consequences would be ugly, and she makes the reader even feel threatened by this. She describes the nature itself as more relaxing and beautiful to look at, but then contradicts it with her feelings of fear and vulnerability to the wilderness. In the text “Nature”, by Raymond Williams, he explains the complexity of nature as a “tension: nature was at once innocent, unprovided, sure, unsure, fruitful, destructive, a pure force and tainted and cursed” (Williams 222). This supports the text of White, as she holds these similar “troubled feelings of nature” (White 1063), as she describes both sides as well. There is a side of nature that is portrayed as calm and peaceful, while the other side that White cannot escape is violent, tainted, and ugly. She creates a feeling that there is constantly a fight to keep the terror away, even if there is a desire to achieve peace. She later on does fight to accomplish this peace with nature. She strives to see it as more
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