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Why? What is the trouble with wilderness?

Please read the assigned pieces by William Cronon

Actions, Mark David SpenceActions, and Camille Dungy (Links to an external site.) and then respond to the following questions:

1.  Why does the concept of wilderness have so much power and influence in the United States?  Cite specific examples from at least two of this week’s readings in your answer.

2.  William Cronon begins his essay by saying, “the time has come to rethink wilderness.”  Why?  What is the trouble with wilderness?  Cronon argues that the idea of wilderness embodies a paradox.  What is that paradox and what are its implications for environmental preservation efforts?  What potential solution does he propose to this problem?

3.  In Dispossessing the Wilderness, Mark David Spence writes that the “uninhabited wilderness” idealized in America’s national parks “had to be created before it could be preserved.”  According to Spence, how was this uninhabited wilderness created?  And what was the relationship between the development of national parks and Indian reservations in the United States?  Cite specific examples in your answer.

4.  Camille Dungy writes that she is “de-pristining” her environmental imagination.  What does she mean?  How is she doing that?  The title of Dungy’s essay a question: Is all writing environmental writing?  How does she answer her own question?

Your e-response must be at least 400 words in total.


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