Analysis Of ' The Land '

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In Changes in the Land, Cronon’s main thesis is that land and culture have a symbiotic relationship with one another. Culture ultimately shapes the land, so when changes in culture occur, then inevitably so do changes in the land. Specifically, Cronon goes into detail about the ecological shift of New England during the 1600’s: the time period of colonization of the land. Cronon argues that "the shift from Indian to European dominance in New England entailed important changes ‒ well known to historians ‒ in the ways these peoples organized their lives, but it also involved fundamental reorganizations ‒ less well known to historians ‒ in the region 's plant and animal communities" (Cronon vii). Overall, Cronon argues that culture and the environment have an interdependent connection, saying “environment may initially shape the range of choices available to a people at a given moment, but then culture reshapes environment in responding to those choices” (Cronon 13).
In Part 1: Looking Backward, Cronon draws on Henry David Thoreau’s Walden to describe the impact man has on the environment. Cronon uses Thoreau’s views as a segue into his argument that the colonists significantly changed New England’s land and environment. Thoreau views nature in a very spiritual, metaphysical way. In Walden he brings up how the existence of man inevitably affects nature. Cronon uses this to argue that the terms ‘the land’ and ‘nature’ embody more than just the physical environment. Rather, these

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