Chris McCandless probably wasn’t the first to think, “When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.” In the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and the short story “Nature” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, they both have the belief that by living off of nature and preserving it, the closer one will come to understanding the nature of nature.
In the book, the Truth About Stories, Thomas King sheds light on the power of stories. King explicitly enforces that one must take caution in the way he or she tells a story, since it will shape one’s thoughts, decision-making and future (2). Through the use of literature, King weaves his way through native history, anecdote by anecdote, informing his readers about the importance of storytelling. “Stories are wondrous things,” the author writes. “And they are dangerous.” (9). To prove this, King mentions two creation stories; the differences in these stories is the way in which they are told. The first is a famous native story called, “the woman who fell from the sky”; this story is told in a complex, persuasive way (10-20). This story discusses a society emphasizing the value of cooperation as the animals work together to create a better world (21-22). The second story, a Judeo-Christian biblical story, describes a Western Capitalist society. It is told in a historical, punitive and direct fashion, underlining a society of boundaries and punishment. King highlights that storytelling is not just simply telling a story, rather it is how the stories are told. King uses these particular stories to show how different stories shape people’s perspectives, which impacts their ideas, thoughts and decision making. Therefore he addresses how sensitive storytelling may be, for once a story is told, it can never be taken back (10). This is true in all realms of life, cautioning
Have you ever been hurt by words or inspired by a saying? It’s staggering that they can change people's life for good or end it altogether. The Wave, a short novel based on a true story by Morton Rhue, demonstrates the power of words in good and bad ways. The novel is about a teacher who dictates his students into a Nazi-like student group as a lesson for his history class. However, the simple, seemingly harmless experiment soon goes out of hand and no one can stop the students organization, The Wave. An important idea in the text is ‘words can be used for harm or for good. One author method that is used by Rhue to convey this idea is the power of repetition of harmful words. And a second author method that is used by Rhue to reveal this idea is persuasive, emotive language by Mr Ross to get students on board with the experiment.
Prose starts off with very strong language in her essay “I know Why the Caged Bird Cannot Read”. Prose’s opening paragraph includes words such as “appalled”, “dismal”, and “dreariness”, which establishes negative connotation, a central feature of the essay(Prose 176). These words signify the lack of confidence that Prose has in the trends of American education. By beginning her essay with judgemental and cogent language, Francine Prose develops a clear and concise argument. She intends to hook her readers by immediately stressing the importance of the subject and conveying her justifiably strong perspectives. Prose claims that she is “ appalled by the dismal lists of texts that her sons are doomed to waste a school year reading” (Prose 176). Prose’s use of negative connotation allows her to clearly and effectively convey her message regarding the negative influence that American education has had on literature.
In his book, Last Child in the Woods (2008), Richard Louv illustrates his distaste for the widening divide between man and nature by his use of exemplification, narration and hypophora. Louv’s purpose for writing this book is to inform the audience that mankind should change its ways and move towards a lifestyle that is more appreciative of its surroundings. Louv uses a frustrated tone to invoke the feeling of guilt within the reader because they are responsible for making humanity unappreciative of nature.
In July 2009, at a TED conference, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian author, gave a stunning speech about “the Danger of a Single Story”. In her speech, she mentioned about negative consequences happening when people tend to form stereotypes based on a single story, the one-sided argument. The single story blindfolds our eyes and prevents us from seeing the complexity, diversity, and similarities that construct our world, just as Adichie says “these negative stories is to flatten my experience and overlook the many other stories that formed me” (12:56). Listening to all her own personal experience and argument, I have become fully convinced and also see myself reflected in her stories. The single story can cause underlying and harmful impacts not only on personal issues but also on the global scale.
Roderick Frazier Nash’s book, Wilderness and the American Mind, compiled contemporary debates about wilderness by outlining the changing positions concerning wilderness throughout history. In chapter 11, “Aldo Leopold: Prophet,” Nash discuses Aldo Leopold’s house metaphor. Here, Leopold refers to six vacant lots and what it would mean to build houses on all six lots. He describes how the first few houses might make sense; however once you build upon all six lots you no longer remember the meaning of the homes. He argues that they somehow the sixth house would become “stupidity.” Conversely, I disagree with this theory. I feel each house, so to speak, is built differently and suits different needs and wants. Just as in the wilderness,
This chapter states that there is no such thing as a truly original work of literature; books are always based off of works before them. This further develops into the idea that there is only one story,
In “The Trouble with Wilderness,” William Cronon illustrates the paradox within the notion of wilderness, describing that if wilderness is that which lies beyond civilization -- beyond humankind, then so is the notion of nature outside the realm of the human... that humans are therefore, unnatural. Further, he explains that if our concept of nature (and ultimately our concept of God) is outside of humanity, then our existence is synonymous with the downfall of nature. That wilderness is purely a construct of civilization is central to this argument. For example, Cronon asserts that “the removal of Indians to create an ‘uninhabited wilderness’---uninhabited as never before in human history of the place---reminds us just how invented, just how constructed, the American wilderness really is” (pg.79). Instead of in isolation from civilization, Cronon finds that his most spiritual experiences with nature have always been closer to home… a sense of wildness (versus wilderness) can be found in one’s backyard, gazing from a front porch, and in the melding of the human experience with mother nature. One of Into the Wild’s final scenes drives home this idea by altering the literal point of view that main character, Chris McCandless, has had of both himself and of the world since the beginning of his two year journey. Into the Wild attempts to dramatizes Cronon’s argument to rethink wilderness; we will examine how the film succeeds, and where it fails, to support its premise.
Stereotypes of people, places, or things leave a large gap between the truth and what is known as the truth. In the speech "The Danger of a Single Story" by Chimamanda Adichie, Adichie explains the dangers and importance of single stories. The use of her past experiences as evidence to explain the damage these stories can cause, both to the listener and the person, place, and/or topic of the stories gives power to her speech. The author’s
Imagine yourself shipwrecked upon an uninhabited island. The experience of being stranded will cause you to pose many questions, with the possibility of only one of those questions to being answered. One answered question is: what is the purpose of literature? Northrop Frye, within “Motive for Metaphor”, uses the analogy of being within an uninhabited island to examines the purpose of literature by connecting it to the purposes of language and their use within the different worlds and levels of the mind Frye sees present.
Literature is the window to realizing the negatives of society and how destructive certain norms can be. Readers are brought into a completely different story than their own, but by using similar issues in today’s world, the readers can actually learn from the story and its overall message. All writers write for a purpose, whether it’s for a new meaning to life, to live a different life than our own, or to impact others on an emotional level by teaching them to see the importance of the little things. As a reader, you search for pieces of literature that interest you whether you find the story like your own, or wish you lived the life in the story. By using issues in today’s within their works, authors are able to grab the reader's attention long enough for them to get across what they wanted to get across. Often in many works of literature, writers use societal issues as their basis for the work’s themes and symbols. By doing so, this allows the reader to question the morality behind social norms and how impactful certain ideals can be in people’s lives.
Throughout the duration of this class, I had the opportunity to encounter a great deal of fantastic examples of literature. The stories were as similar as they were different, each one with a unique premise but somehow also reflective of one another. Perhaps it is be accident, or more likely it is because the stories are a part of the fabric of our nation and the American condition. The stories are of their respective times while also being able to fairly and accurately critique American society, culture, and values. From capitalism to America’s changing thoughts on morality throughout the decades, the writings were introspective to the story of our nation.
Today's society contains stories that model the ideal life that each individual lives each day. Stories may shape our mind in creative and positive ways that may enlighten the road towards the future. They have been examples for us to survive by and thrive on for decades: in the past, and now, continuing in the future. People around the world have been told stories that may have influenced their lives in a unique way. Children long to be enlightened by stories that fill their young and fruitful minds, allowing thoughts and new ideas to be instilled. Throughout the worlds' cultures and literature, stories have influenced the actions and morals of man with their underlying