Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wildness vs Wilderness

"...In Wildness is the preservation of the world." (Wildness is referred to eight times, once capitalized.)
"Give me the ocean, the desert, or the wilderness!" (Wilderness is referred to eight times, never capitalized.)

Both of these quotes come from Thoreau. This idea of Wildness vs. Wilderness was brought up today in my Ethics and the Environment class. Wildness is a state of being, I understand from the reading, and Wilderness is the place where Wildness is seen, or a derivation of Wildness. Is Wilderness, then, the thing that needs conserving? Or should we focus on society and becoming more Wild in our ways? Wildness may be the preservation of the world, but it doesn't necessarily follow that Wilderness is its haven.

1 comment:

Robin Simpson said...

I suppose that Thoreau was emphasizing the importance of returning to a more simplistic lifestlye in a wilderness setting. However, I don't believe that his intent was to emphasize wildness as a necessary part of the human spirit. I feel like his goal is to advocate for naturalistic living, not necessarily wild animal-like behavior.

-Robin Simpson