Analysis Of Uncommon Ground By William Cronon

Improved Essays
The reading for this week comes from William Cronon’s book Uncommon Ground. Throughout the passage, Cronon argues that our modern view of wilderness is paradoxically flawed, but due to the historical effects of the sublime and the frontier that emerged at the end of the 19th century, the adoration of wilderness has become ingrained in our culture. These ideologies have imprinted man-made moral values and cultural symbols on wilderness. Cronon asserts that this romanticism of nature currently underpins actual environmental concerns. He concludes reading stating that a middle ground where humanity and nature intersect must be found in order to create a better world. To these arguments, the author utilizes considerable historical and contemporary …show more content…
Americans sought out wilderness as a form of escape from civilization, but the very presence of humans in the wild, made these places an unnatural product of civilization. This view of nature is also harmful, as it causes humanity to detest civilization, despite the structure and safety it provides. The romanticism of Wilderness can also fundamental contributor to many actual environmental concerns. This is evident by the protection of rainforests, which often hurting residents that rely on the resources of the forest for their way of life. It can also be seen in arguments of climate change, where the only viable solution to the issue is for humans to “kill themselves” to protect nature. Yet for many, the attraction to wilderness is so deeply ingrained within their values, they cannot help but loving and protecting it. Cronon argues that in celebrating wilderness, we ignore the landscape we truly call home, which is where the solution to many environmental problems seen today can be found. The author argues that a middle ground between nature and humanity must be found in order to create a better world for all. Incorporating the values that humanity seeks to find in wilderness into civilized society is the key to creating this

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Veganism Vs Vegetarianism

    • 991 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Nandi Argues that vegetarian diets are personally uneconomical, and ProCon argues that vegetarian diets actually can be harmful to the environment they are trying to protect. The people who choose to eat this way need to realize the actual effect that their decision is making around the world. Vegetarianism is a form of disease that is rapidly spreading across the western world and uprooting the elements of Earth that humans cannot survive…

    • 991 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The author of this article explicates that we have caused so much damage within our forests that they can no longer thin themselves and if we discontinue forest thinning, any wildfires would be disastrous. The article, Thinning Forests Won’t Prevent Fires, completely opposes this idea. It says that it is “mainstream” to go along with the belief that forest fires are bad, but in reality, forest fires are a natural way for forests to rejuvenate themselves and control their own eco-systems. This article suggests that there is no need for an alternative to forest thinning, it should just be stopped. It says that suppressing all fires in forests is one of the worst forest management decisions ever, and that forests can recover on their own without human intervention.…

    • 1246 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This mindset would prove to be detrimental to the environment. By only focusing on the majestic icons of nature, humans inadvertently were overlooking the elements of natural beauty located within everyday life that prove necessary to their lifestyle. When humans focus only on the elaborate aspects of nature, they contradict their own stance on the importance of the environment to living a fulfilled life. They say that wilderness is essential to embracing our humanity, yet they allow thousands of acres of land to be deforested, saturated with harsh chemicals, and polluted because it does not fit the description of a grand icon which spiritually impacts the soul. In his essay “Trouble with Wilderness”, William Cronon states, “indeed, my principle objection to wilderness is that it may teach us to be dismissive or even contemptuous of such humble places and experiences.” Just because organisms, such as, trees or fields of grain occur more frequently than mountains or canyons in the urbanized lives of humans does not lessen their importance.…

    • 1529 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Leaver Culture Analysis

    • 1493 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Our conscience and intellect separates us from other animals, but we are still animals and connected to nature. If we disrupt the natural laws, then we see ourselves as more than the rest of the planet. We put our own worth on a pedestal, and undermine the consequences that we have with our tunnel vision views. Singer and Regan do not acknowledge that humans are animals, and we can also cause our extinction. While the rights view tells us how to treat animals with their own worth and to leave wild animals alone, it also fails to acknowledge how if we were truly equal we would help a dying breed.…

    • 1493 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Hunters often argue that they are “saving” the animal populations, but these attitudes tend to be hypocritical. It is often asked how it can be said that by killing what we have left is saving it. A quote by an animal conservationist says it best with the words, “Hunters kill any animal they would like to hang over the fireplace, including healthy animals who are needed to keep the population strong (“Animal Population Control”).” If nature were to be left alone, the exquisite balance of nature’s ecosystems would ensure the survival and regulation of most species, but when humans get involved, everything changes. However, if humans must intervene to keep the animal population under control, then there are several methods that could be practiced that are not only effective and efficient, but also morally sound. While animal overpopulation is undeniably happening, ways to solve the problematic animal populations can be regulated without the use of guns.…

    • 729 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Benefits Of Veganism

    • 901 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Anthropocentric idealism is destroying the earth; to believe humans are the most important being on the planet is ridiculous, and extremely selfish. Because of this ideal, non domestic animals are considered of lesser value, and are used for our benefit (whether it be for food, clothing, or other goods.) These animals are not afforded the rights that all living beings deserve- the right to a pain free life and the right to live. This is what vegans fight for, they fight for animal rights, and the end of animal based products to create a healthier and more humane earth. Veganism is a lifestyle that aims to avoid as much abuse and exploitation of animals as possible.…

    • 901 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In conclusion, killing animal have both advantages and disadvantages. Advantages of killing animals are used for food, out of suffering, and dangerous animals. These reasons are the important point that we can kill animals for surviving and helping them. In contrast, we should not kill animals for these following reasons: the cruel thing, the animal extinction, and contrast to religion. In my opinion, killing animals is not appropriate.…

    • 935 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Jimmy Carter writes, “tearing open the heart of our greatest refuge,” to describe what industrialization will do to the Arctic National Wildlife refuge. The general argument in Carter’s forward is that this Arctic refuge should not be developed for industry. First, he uses facts and evidence to build his claim. Then he uses word choice and imagery to support his argument. His purpose is to persuade his audience that development will have negative consequences for the Arctic refuge, in order to protect this unique awe inspiring wildlife refuge.…

    • 731 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Perkins also suggests "Frost may be suggesting that the boy 's need to subdue and conquer the trees points to the destructive side of human nature" (Perkins 7). Though these points are valid, and demonstrate Frost 's amazing style. The larger point of the story was overlooked. Last, Perkins highlights "the speaker 's desire to escape earth 's demands and climb toward heaven suggests he is looking for a spiritual salvation" (Perkins 11). This may be the most accurate of her statements, but the assessment of one 's life to determine whether it needed to be repeated is more…

    • 760 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Holmes Rolston III is a very important philosopher when studying environmental ethics and believes humans as a species need to protect our planet and its inhabitants from development no matter what cost. Environmental preservation has been a very controversial topic, but while we decide what to do about it, we are also destroying what is left of the wilderness. The United Nations has released many declarations on the matter, but to no avail. Regarding Rolston’s argument, Robin Attfield disagrees on how environments should be protected. The following, with reference to the United Nations’ declarations, will explain Rolston’s argument and Attfield’s disagreements with it.…

    • 1006 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays