Wednesday, March 13, 2013
ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING, OIL AND ENERGY
Animal writing involves the use of animals that have human voices. The
writing is strongly shaped by the pastoral. The understanding of nature (and
culture) and the mysteries of nature (the natural environment) appear in
They tend to mix the scientific aspect of nature with the romantic aspect.
Many times, they “travel” into places that are unfamiliar – sort of as the last
remnants of natural order.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was a naturalist writer. He built a hut in
1840s and wrote about it. It is about his experiment in the natural world
(though this is slightly misleading because he was not in the great outdoors
the entire time. He was able to go home form time to time). He was also
involved in the smuggling of slaves.
Susannah Moodie (1803-1885) wrote “Roughing It in the Bush”. This was
different from Thoreau’s experience because it his was shielded from actual
Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) was interested in the place of Maine. Places
like that were considered rough terrain/early tourist area.
The White Heron
The book is about a mixture of complex set of relationships. The character,
Sylvia, does not give up the white heron to the hunter. She is somewhat
associated with the heron herself. The white heron presents a classic case of
environmental conflict with human culture.
Environment in Film
What is nature’s “role”? Is it evil? Is nature fighting back? Perhaps nature is
seeking revenge on humans. Is nature a victim? Nature also appears as a
character in some films. Is nature a backdrop to human emotions? E.g.
-Adventure films -> where the natural world is an obstacle
-Monster films -> full of misshapen creatures, like Frankenstein
-Disaster films -> showcasing the end of the world
-Evil genius films -> transforming creatures/nature using science and
-Secret plots/cover-ups Few films are actually about the environment, unl