Thus literature has always conditioned our philosophical understanding of nature. Indeed, even the aesthetic categories by which our feeling for nature are understood, the beautiful, the picturesque, the sublime, the scenic, the wild etc. have been defined largely through their use in literary and critical contexts. Today, when the threat to the environment has assumed overwhelming proportions, man’s relationship to nature requires a redefinition. The time has come for a reaffirmation of age-old concepts like pastoralism, romanticism, transcendentalism and naturalism, which define and explore man’s relation to nature.
Linda Hutcheon emphatically argues that, ecocriticm and the study of it is, “a reflection on actual praxis and continue to derive their critical force from their conjuction with that social and aesthetic practice” (16). Glen A. Love in his Practical Ecocriticism asserts that the nature-endorses “gain credibility in being drawn to real problems and in advocating and working toward analyses and solutions, while the nature-skeptics do not” (8). Patrick D. Murphy clarifies the confusion in his Ecocritical Explorations in literary and Cultural Studies
In works by writers from Crèvecoeur to Wendell Berry, John Muir to Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson to Leslie Silko, Mary Austin to Edward Abbey, he examines enduring environmental themes such as the dream of relinquishment, the personification of the nonhuman, attentiveness to environmental cycles, a devotion to place, and a prophetic awareness of possible ecocatastrophe. At the center of this study we find an image of Walden as a quest for greater environmental awareness, an impetus and guide for Buell as he develops a new vision of environmental writing and seeks a new way of conceiving the relation between human imagination and environmental actuality in the age of industrialization” (The Environmental Imagination — Lawrence Buell | Harvard
Nature and literature goes hand in hand. The world of literature throngs with works dealing with beauty and power of nature. However, the concern for ecology and the hazard that the incessant exploitation of our environment poses on humanity has recently caught the attention of the writers. This sense of concern has given rise to a new branch of literary theory, namely Eco-criticism. Ecocriticism is the study of representations of nature in literary works and of the relationship between literature and the environment.
This chapter presents a review of the ecofeminist theory: the history of man alienation from women and nature, the basis for the association between women and nature. Different feminist perspectives prior to the theory of ecofeminism and how they handled the mutual relationship between women and nature and how this led to the emergence of the theory of ecofeminism. Some of the important terms in the theory of ecofeminism, ecofeminism and deep ecology, ecofeminism and the feminine principle, characterization of ecofeminist philosophy, ecofeminism and the sense of place, and finally ecofeminism and the division within the theory itself. During the last centuries, and especially after the emergence of the Industrial Revolution, a degradation
Richard Kerridge rightly asserts that, “ecocriticism seeks to evaluate texts and ideas in terms of their coherence and usefulness as responses to environmental crisis” (5). It is also an irrefutable fact that the perception of any environmental risk differs from person to person, culture to culture, or from community to community. In this vein, an ecocritical approach towards a literary text offers insights, if not an exact remedy, to revamp the global cataclysms like climate change, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, and flood. Among the environmental disasters, climate change, a global phenomenon, for example, is considered as one of the “wicked problems [which] afflict open, complex and imperfectly understood systems, and are beyond the range of mere technical knowledge and traditional forms of governance” (Hulme). By introducing climate change into fiction, an author dares to get acquainted with
In Leviathan, Hobbes constructs his political framework around a set of assumptions and beliefs regarding human nature when it is unrestrained by a sovereign and not within a societal framework, or “commonwealth”. Broadly, this theoretical state of being is called the “natural condition of mankind” or, a state of nature. Hobbes reaches the state of nature theory by methodically evaluating the core motivations and realities of human nature (as he sees them), as well as via evaluating newly discovered “savage people in many places of America.” As such, the state of nature, that is human nature, is the scaffolding from which the totality of his political theory is built upon, and with which he justifies the need for a Leviathan. Therefore, for Hobbesian political theory to be valid, all primary and core assumptions must also be valid, due to the methodical and mechanistic character of Hobbesian political theory. As a result, the question must be asked; to what extent is Hobbesian political theory dependent upon a feasible and accurate state of nature as he describes it?
Following the pressure received from the international political system, environmental issues have been more prominent in public debate than at any earlier time, however Green parties are confronted with a fundamental problem. The environment is part of the ‘new politics’ cleavage, which “cuts across traditional patterns of left-right partisan alignment.” The profound transformation of societal structures, value preferences and party political competition necessitates a comprehensive reinvention of Green politics and brings to the fore the difficult in integrating environmental concerns into mainstream policy programs. In order to raise the profile of the environment to the national political agenda, elements of environmental preservation need to be included in party manifestos of mainstream political parties. While the Green party culture requires a revolution, mainstream parties are also threatened based a new cleavage they fail to consider- the environment. Given this political competition, parties in a multi party system try to remain as ideologically distinct from each other as possible.
For a better understanding of waves of ecocriticism, I turn to Lawrance Buell. In his article, “The Future of Environmental Criticism” (2005), Lawrence Buell states that “first-wave” ecocriticism emerged as a reaction against the structuralist and poststructuralist movement which was dominant in 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Structuralism supported that language creates reality, however, first-wave ecocritics believed that there is a natural world beyond the language. That’s why, representations of nature in texts such as Henry David Thoreau’s Walden (1854) and Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire (1968) show the importance of natural world which exists beyond the
offers an approach to ecocriticism in the context of contemporary English Canadian Poets. It gives definitions of various contemporary critics on ecocriticism. It specially discuss origin of ecocriticism, nation wilderness and conservative move towards protection of environment through ecocritical approaches of Canadian poets, the essay scrutinize moments of the metaphor, in the age of technology, interrelatedness between nature and human. Ecocritical literatures explored that human construction; adoption of new technology, modernization approach brings tremenderous changes in the environment in the twentieth century. The dynamic environment which is brought by the human, exploited the nature.