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The Trouble With Wilderness Analysis

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“The Trouble with Wilderness,” has become a basis for environmental movements. Cronan challenges its readers to reevaluate the way they perceive the natural world. The concept of the “wilderness” has become a societal construct. Most of its early implications were biblical and associated with negative connotations of darkness, angst, desolation and Satan himself. It was not until the end of the nineteenth century, where people began to see the wilderness as something sacred. Cronan suggests that the sublime and the frontier are cultural movements that influence the evolving conceptions of the natural world. The sublime is the romanticized idea that emotions can be conjured through one’s presence in a landscape. The sublime of nature was often affiliated with religious ties that became evident in the works of William Wordsworth, Thoreau, and John Muir. Wordsworth’s account of crossing Simplon Pass recorded his fear, while Thoreau pondered the lonesomeness on Mount Katahdin. Muir, on the other hand, discussed the feelings of heavenly bliss (Cronan, 1995 pg. 5). Despite the type of account, there is some type of spiritual value that is attached to such wonders. As the country progressed, the celebration of the frontier became more paramount. Cronan…show more content…
We often view the two as being separated, when there is a material and cultural overlap. Materially, society and nature merge. As humans, we hold the ability to mold the land to our choosing. The environment becomes a product of our doing and our actions become a part of history. Culturally, we view nature as a mirror, reflecting our values and desires. We learn to see what our society perceives a problem and what is not. The problems that emerge allow us to question the thought processes of how we evaluate what is and is not a problem. If we look at things separately, we would never be able to grasp the entire
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