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Refuge - Wiggins 1 Ryan Wiggins Professor Jensen FS 301 10...

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Wiggins 1 Ryan Wiggins Professor Jensen FS 301 10 September 2007 Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place Perhaps made apparent with the title, Refuge is an account of the changing setting yet constant identity of the novel’s author, Terry Tempest Williams. Through the naturalist’s descriptions of her beloved home and sanctuary of the Great Salt Lake region of Utah, we better understand the purpose of home and the dealings of life and death. Heavily focused on the comparison of the changing scenery and rising lake level to the unsystematic path of existence, Williams exhibits the importance of adapting to one’s habitat in order for survival. Almost immediately, Williams establishes a strong historical pride in her family and heritage, although she is rather progressive compared to their traditions and belief systems. When she conveys a rather impolite gesture to men that have been exterminating burrowing owls, her mother expresses disapproval as “women did not deliver obscene gestures to men” (13). Although she feels that she acted appropriately, she holds a respect for her lineage and the way they carry themselves. She is not rebelling from her history, as she believes it is something to be held dearly by any Mormon (13). Her attachment yet modification of past beliefs is further exemplified through the way she has chosen to live her life as well. She is obviously a very free- thinker, as she holds nature in the upmost regard and joins in marches for peace (134). A coexistence of religion and open-mindedness is not hard for her to imagine, and she readily lives in such a way. Guided by spirituality, yet aware of the earth, she lives by a properly measured mixture of reason and faith. This gives her a more understood definition of good and evil, as she
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