Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cronon's Prologue

Usually I don't read prologues of books but I really enjoyed Cronon's Prologue in Nature's Metropolis. What I found particularly interesting about this section was how Cronon perceived natural and the unnatrual due to the fact that he grew up in a suburban area. I myself grew up in CT in a very suburban area and always considered it as a place with lots of nature even though if i walked about 10 minutes away from my house I would be surrounded by strip malls and busy streets. However, because I lived so close to New York City and traveled there frequently, the city was my comparison of the unnatural against the natural. I felt similar thoughts as Cronon would when entering the city as I was overwhelmed and claustrophobic. Just as Cronon grew up with a love for the rural landscape and hate toward the city, I did as well because I thought where I lived was "natural". I even still claim that there is not nearly enough nature in New York City for me ever want to live there and refuse to ever consider it. However after reading Cronon's prologue, I see the flaw in my way of thinking with me considering my home natural, because once I place myself in nature it no longer stays "natural". This made me think about the term "natural" further because of the controversy over its meaning. Because as Cronon says, "Nature is the place where we are not" (18), humans can never really feel like they are a part of nature and once we place our feet into this "virgin nature" we have indeed made it unnatural. I guess I know have to rethink about where I plan on living after college if no matter what I'll never get that "natural" experience I always wanted.

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