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Shannon Lew Mr. Sanford Advanced Placement Language and Composition April 5, 2013 Responsibility to Nature Nature is one of the main things we take for granted. People aren‟t commonly seen outside truly appreciating what has been given to us naturally by the earth. If we would take into consideration what nature gives us: air to breathe, water to drink, resources to build upon, etc... We as a society wouldn‟t be able to live up to that bearing in mind what we as a population give back to nature in return. We give back gases to pollute the air, and we diminish the trees and resources for our own selfish reasons. If you asked any person who considers themselves as “green” or “one with nature” they would say that our responsibility to nature is to leave it the way we found it. Obviously, that isn‟t exactly possible but there are steps we could take to improve nature overall and take our responsibilities we owe to it. Saying “we all” is generalized. There are people who care enough about nature to appreciate and be thankful for what it provides. Back in the early-mid 1800s, Transcendentalism was a popular belief among people. Transcendentalism was a style of life and way of living life. Transcendentalists believed in individualism and were very focused on their inner self with respects to the relationship between humans and the natural world. You can clearly see how their mindset was concrete and not all about imagination and fantasy. This way of thinking and writing is evident as we can see in a variety of Ralph Waldo Emerson‟s writings and compositions. In his popular essay “Nature”, he writes in the first portion of how children are the true viewers of nature as he says, “To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature…The sun

Which means nature is almost at extinction. and when he has conquered it. reading and actually go outside. but his enemy. This conveys to us the ways that Natives see nature as well. There are people who are very involved with preserving and being aware of what we are taking and giving back to nature. Wordsworth expresses . “The earth is not his brother. It‟s no secret that Natives in America think that the “white men” have no respect for nature. by being inside. and your mother‟s yelling at you to go outside and play because it‟s a beautiful day and it‟s more worth it rather than being cooped up inside. Some would even go far enough to say that people are spending too much time indoors and therefore. Transcendentalists aren‟t the only people who are concerned with the environment and nature. but shines into the eye and the heart of a child” (Emerson 808). not their enemy. In basic terms. Similar to when you‟re a child playing games inside. and it‟s something to be respected. Emerson is asserting that although adults can see nature. not taken advantage of. Chief Seattle. leaving it behind. Rachel Carson takes it a little further by writing in her book Silent Spring about how technological advancements have brought mankind in a downward spiral and is reduced to hardly anything. Seattle proceeds to warn the president of the consequences we would face if nature was to be destroyed. in this case. Seattle is referring the fact that a “white man” would commonly just rob the earth of its resources and simply move on. a prominent figure in who lived from 1786 to 1866 wrote a speech addressed to President Franklin Pierce expressing his disapproval of the average American‟s view and use of nature. Seattle says that nature is their brother. it doesn‟t allow people to go get a good look at nature. children can connect with it which makes for a better connection between human and nature. he moves on” (Seattle 823).Lew 2 illuminates only the eye of the man. William Wordsworth agrees as in his poem “The Tables Turned” where he‟s urging people to stop.

we would lose all of our natural resources sooner than later? If the idea of nature being destroyed isn‟t scary enough to get people to start thinking.Lew 3 his appreciation for nature by making books look like the bad guy. With everyone seeing through „tunnel vision‟. people will argue that nature and its resources were meant to be taken and used. “Books! „tis a dull and endless strife: Come.” (Wordsworth 856) It‟s ironic how sometimes. we would still be as primitive as the first people how walked on this planet. Not everyone has the same view obviously. (Royal Dutch/Shell 858/859) The irony is that Shell is a major gas and oil company. and oil to fuel our machines. when someone would suggest we preserve nature. what harms nature/the environment also tries to encourage people to save it. not take it for granted and to appreciate it more. especially through deforestation. They are working against the emission of gases even though their gas and oil play a part in harming the environment. we should also think about how we are already in the process of destroying nature. Has it ever occurred to anyone that if we were to keep taking from the earth and not doing anything to attempt to give back. People will always have something to say about someone else‟s opinion. that often hinders people from looking at the big picture. Notice the advertisement from Royal Dutch/Shell which is asking people to work towards saving the earth from the harmful gas emissions. If we never took anything from nature such as trees to build houses and to make paper. These include widespread destruction of ecosystems. Without the use of the resources. they are exposed to many human activities that are devastating to the environment and societies. Although true. we wouldn‟t possibly be able to advance as a society or a population. and into the future a little. “On the environment front. hear the woodland linnet. and . that‟s nothing compared to what could happen if we take too much. the supplies we were able to extract from nature have all without a doubt helped us expand and further our advancements. climatic instability. In this case.

Sarah Orne Jewett definitely knows of this consequence as implied in her fictional story A White Heron. If we continue to do what we‟ve been doing to the environment.Lew 4 contamination in the soils and waters.. It has been the key factor for us advancing in terms of technology.. It‟s our responsibility as the consumers of these resources to give back as much as we can. It‟s so easy to overlook nature and take it for granted. (Maathai 837). Jewett describes a heron that‟s home gets destroyed and it eventually leaves in search of a new home.” What Maathai is saying isn‟t a lie. However. we could take steps to improve the quality of the environment. there won‟t be any more left for us to benefit from. it will be gone. Humans won‟t just be responsible for destroying nature but also the inhabitants as well. Nature is a bountiful resource that was clearly meant for human use. . If we all would take the time to appreciate what nature has essentially given us. if we misuse it.