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Paige Porter Professor Lutz ESS 102 6 December 2017 Who is a person, and who is animate has been shown to be distinctive in different cultures. In the American culture, a person is a human being, and nothing more. A human is a him, her, they. A tree is an it, and a stream is only a stream, the ocean is the ocean; merely objects for our use and overexploitation. The English language is incredibly possessive with the structure set up around nouns. This culture of “mine” is toxic and devastating to everyone around us. Kimmerer states that if this way of thinking could be erased and replaced with something more verbal, then perhaps people could see the natural world around us as persons too. “When bay is a noun, it is defined by humans, trapped between shores and contained by the word. But the verb, wiikwegamaa - to be a bay- releases the water from the bondage and lets it live” (Kimmerer, 4). We as humans have strayed so far from nature. We forget that we are in fact, part of an ever-changing system that links everyone together. In
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  • Spring '15
  • Lutz

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