Otherwise Than Places Mckay Analysis

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As humans, we tend to put ourselves in the spotlight of our own world. We use humanistic terms that give a place imagined borders. Don McKay’s “Otherwise than Place” is a lyrical essay that starts off with the narrator holding an introspective stone from the West Coast of Vancouver Island, he asks himself what the relation is between place and wilderness. As encouraged by Don McKay, it is a good meditative practice for humans to notice that we label things according to our occurrence to the land. Because of general ignorance, humans often make a habit of exorcising their desire to dominate things, simply because they have the ability to. To add, this meditative practice allows us to let go of our habit of grasping onto things simply because we fear oblivion. The realization of an otherwise than place can make us understand that a place is a matter of perception and is not a literal point in space. …show more content…
McKay states that in contemplating a place as a function of wilderness, we get rid of our tendency to dominate things simply because we are capable of. In Robert Pogue Harrison’s “Forests”, the author used The Epic of Gilgamesh to prove that we use land simply “to make of our capacity for destruction and enduring sign and so achieve fame” (McKay 22). In the epic, the hero approached the sun god, Utu with a proposal to destroy the forest demon to mark his name. As a response, the god asked the hero “…but what art thou to the land?” (21). According to students of the pathology of abuse, this idea of manic ownership has been valorized since ancient tales of heroism. To conclude, in noticing that humans label things according to what we think their function is, we let go of our proneness to dominate

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