Our Need for Wilderness

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Tanyesha Jackson English Composition 3 February 3rd, 2013 Moyer Our Need for Wilderness In Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey states, “Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water (p. 148)”. Wilderness is often seen as an outlet, a place to go to escape from reality and the troubles of the world. There is a sense of serenity and one often feels at peace as a result of the quiet and slow-paced lifestyle. Using the following readings: Jennifer Sinor (“Confluences”), Edward Abbey (“Serpents of Paradise”), and Gary Snyder (“Mid-August…), I will argue that wilderness is an alternative to the chaos and busyness of urban life. Wilderness helps individuals overlook their problems. In “Confluences” by Jennifer Sinor, the main character’s family had a tradition that consisted of going camping every year. Of this, she says, “Every summer we chose wilderness areas over national parks or forests in hopes that the additional work of getting there would mean having part of the planet to ourselves” (Sinor, 2008, p. 46). Wilderness is used as a bonding mechanism; they were able opportunity to connect and escape from everyday life by “talking about their successes and failures, future trips, hope for their children, and life in general” (Sinor, 2008, p. 46). This year’s retreat was especially crucial for the main character and her uncle who were both going through challenging times. Wilderness was used as an outlet to cope with her divorce and her uncle’s ill health; during the retreat, she comforts him, “I am sorry that you have Parkinson’s” (Sinor, 2008, p. 52). This was the perfect opportunity to offer her condolences because they were alone, away from distractions and at peace with themselves. In wilderness, they were able to overlook their troubles and enjoy the beauty of nature that connected them. In Edward’s

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