Eco-Critical Analysis of Bierce, Housman and Frost's Works

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Jonathan Priest EN201 Mr. Halsband October 6, 2012 A Winding Path: An Eco-critical analysis of nature in the portrayal of faith, time, life, and death in literature Literary eco-criticism is motivated by environmental activism and focuses principally on representations of the physical environment, especially of nonhuman nature. The dualistic separation of human from nature, promoted by Western philosophy and culture as the origin of environmental crisis demands a return to a monistic, primal identification of humanity and its ecosphere. While nature itself is not a subject, it contains its own language. Nature’s language in literature has been speaking to us through natural signs portending faith, time, life, and death. It is an element in literature than cannot be avoided. In my analysis of “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” eco-critical tones drive the story and poetry and its dramatic descriptions of nature in the themes of life, death and the time that surrounds nature. This paper will analyze three popular works of literature that have astounded readers and inspired creativity in generations over and over again. This analysis criticizes: “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce, “Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now” by A. E. Housman, and “The Road Not Taken & Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost. All these authors in their stories and poetry similarly incorporate nature as a vivid display of life, death and time as their underlying tones. It is also a reflection of one’s mortality as everyone has busy lives, schedules and demands but generally no one really stops to see the true beauty of the natural world around us. The story Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge starts off with a man, Peyton Farquhar whom is a loyal Confederate farmer about to be hung on the Owl Creek Bridge that separates a Union fort and a large open field
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