Wilderness 10-12-05 Final

Wilderness 10-12-05 Final - As stated by Roderick Nash,...

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As stated by Roderick Nash, wilderness is a necessary component to everyday life; one would be hard pressed to find an individual whose life has not been impacted to some extent by wilderness. Although wilderness can at some points be unwanted, unattractive, and unwieldy, Americana, and nations, still hold it in their hearts, in the form of national forests, wilderness preservation, and even do not litter signs along the highway. Outlooks on the wilderness have not been static. Feelings towards wilderness have evolved from fearing the wilderness because of the belief that it creates and harbors evil to the belief that one can find God and happiness in nature, this has been illustrated through literary works throughout time. (Nash 2-7) The bible, one of the oldest texts in the world, illustrates God’s desire to separate the wilderness from religious devotion. This is most likely the point from which the puritanical view of separation of wilderness from religion spawned. Exodus 25 through 40 gives clear directions regarding how to build “the tabernacle in the wilderness.” The instructions include a 150’ by 50’ wall, made of cloth, to block out the wilderness. The description is more extensive than this, but the main point was to create a large area that is detached from nature for religious worship and sacrifice. Thus the Old Testament gives us the first glimpse of religion’s need to block out the interference of nature from serious religious worship. Centuries later, the same ideas still held strong, as illustrated in The Scarlet Letter , by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The novel’s setting is not only a town, an example of between paved and pastoral on Nash’s wilderness scale, but also the forest out side of it, which is exclusively primeval. The town is structured with overbearing Puritan rules, enforcing structure and civility. But the forest is a lawless area, where the rules of the town no E Berkenbush, 1
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longer apply. Thus evil acts are not committed in the town; it is the wilderness that allows these things to occur. Examples of this include Hester’s adultery with the Dimmesdale. Hester’s exile is illustrated by this quotation, “Hester Prynne, with a mind of native courage and activity, and for so long a period not merely estranged, but outlawed, from society, had habituated herself to such latitude of speculation as was altogether foreign to the clergyman. She had wandered, without rule or guidance, in a moral wilderness” (Hawthorne 243). This is similar to Mistress Hibbins’ appearance in the woods and among Puritan society being foils to each other. By night she was a witch, and spent time with the “Black man,” but in the town she accused and prosecuted other individuals for violating the puritanical code. She is thus portrayed as being both paved and primeval, torn between levels of herself, with her character depending upon her surroundings. Also, Hester and her illegitimate child, Pearl, lived as social outcasts on the outer limits of the
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2008 for the course LIFESCI ls 2 eng 3 taught by Professor All during the Spring '04 term at UCLA.

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Wilderness 10-12-05 Final - As stated by Roderick Nash,...

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