The Gift That Grant's Life Analysis

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Caitlin Higgins English 1001 - 40588 Clark September 17, 2010 Prompt: Explain how two authors from the novel This I Believe use nature to describe the way they live their lives. Provide examples from the text. The Gift That Grants Life The relationship between nature and people throughout the world is mandatory for survival. Over the years, humans have relied on nature to provide with crops, medicine, energy, resources, and even the mere air they breathe. Nature has a higher meaning to the authors Joy Harjo and Ruth Kamps. In their essays from the novel This I Believe, Harjo and Kamps show the importance of nature by describing it to be a spiritual source, representation of their lives, and as a therapeutic figure. Harjo believes “the…show more content…
Harjo’s beliefs are shown when she visits New York to meet her newborn granddaughter. She tries to perform a sun ritual for her granddaughter so the sun can meet its new relative; however, it is a cloudy day and the buildings block her view of the sun. Harjo carries out the ceremony anyway because nature is a part of her faith and the “sacredness of life;” she takes the sun or nature with her even when it is not visible, just as Christians believe in God even though they cannot physically see Him (114). Kamps’ view of trees relates to her life directly; the tree cares for and houses birds just as she cares for her family. As her belief in nature deepened, her respect for it grew; she began to “like digging in the dirt instead of cursing each weed” in her garden (136). Both authors’ beliefs are a major part of their lives and are guidelines to the way they chose to…show more content…
She practices her faith even though she can get crops or needs from the Wal-Mart that is “just down the road” (112). She can even perform a ceremony for her granddaughter in New York to the “twenty-first century totem pole…made of flash and neon” (114). Harjo is able to carry out her rituals and use her belief as a therapeutic figure for challenges she faces in life because nothing can damage her spiritual experience. Before Kamps became the spiritual being she is now, she once went to church to find truth in life. When Kamps’ mother died and she was pregnant, she needed the church the most. However, even though the priest knew her, he did not unlock the church. Kamps felt this moment in her life “was a nail in the coffin of [her] traditional beliefs” (136). She began to follow nature and strive to be like the tree with “grace and elegant treeness”

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