Sunday, February 10, 2008

Is Nature Still "The Beast"?

As I sat watching the television the other evening, I noticed a trend among several advertisements for kids shows. In all of them, the "bad guy" was represented by someone who had embraced technology, i.e. had metallic/robotic armor or utilized robots to do his dirty work. The good guys? Well most of them seemed to be living very simple, "closer-to-nature" lives. What does this say about modern society's perception of nature? Is nature still viewed as a "beast" that needs to be conquered and tamed? If the kids shows can be taken to reveal societal perceptions, then perhaps not. I think that's kind of interesting...

1 comment:

Megan said...

That's an interesting observation. It seems that a lot of trends that we commonly think of as 'things of the past' still persist today. A similar example is the portrayal of wolves in literature, especially children's literature. Fairy tales often use a wolf as the bad guy. I feel like this still has an impact today. I'm from Montana and a few years ago there was a substantial controversy over whether to re-introduce wolves into Yellowstone park. Many ranchers were concerned for their livestock and opposed the re-introduction. This is understandable, but it may also be reasonable to expect that our cultural perception of wolves as the 'bad guy' also gave fuel to the opposition.
Also, on a side note, I thought it was really interesting that Hughes mentioned that people worried about wildlife interfering with livestock in Greek and Roman times while that same wildlife actually helped to reduce pests and stabilize ecosystems.