A New Writer Approaches: Muir

In “A Geologist’s Winter Walk,” Muir has a sense of wonder and positivity around the way that he experiences nature, even if his writing makes it seem as though he can be compared to a reckless tourist. As someone who visited the Natural Bridge in Virginia as a nine-year old, I can relate to this. His thoughts seem to be almost naïve as a child’s, so this makes for an interesting small blurb to read. The fact that he slept on a rock in the middle of his hike and this quote: “Never did pine trees seem so dear. How sweet was their breath and their song, and how grandly they winnowed the sky!” (Muir 99) both make me think of and recall Thoreau’s enthusiasm of the wilderness. His gung-ho attitude about nature that he exudes while saying, “How wholly infused with God is this one big word of love that we call the world!” (Muir 104) also reminds me of Whitman’s all-encompassing affection for every aspect of the natural world as well as Bello’s complete romanticization of it. On the other hand, I’m not sure myself what Cronon would think of Muir’s opinion of the wilderness. Surely, both men believe that nature itself is to be treasured and respected, but it seems to me like Muir could be perceived as one of those tourists affecting the environment that Cronon ultimately despises. Either way, I’m sure that a conversation these too on environmentalism would be interesting.

5 Replies to “A New Writer Approaches: Muir”

  1. His thoughts do seem to be very naive. I also felt like he does enjoy the tourist part of life. I found that he doesn’t want to get to trapped in the human life, but can’t get out of it.

  2. I do agree that his thoughts seem to be naive. He is using his journal as an advertisement and it is very unrealistic. To him, there seems to be nothing bad about the environment even though he fell and was unconscious.

  3. Hi Ivy,
    I like your personal touch to this and that you could really connect and use your own experiences to relate to Muir. I completely agree with you that Cronon would not have liked this and Muir has so much of a tourist like view on the environment.

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