Man vs. Nature

Man vs. Nature

Man vs. Nature
In every literature, there is a theme which is advanced. The theme of man vs. nature or God has been advanced by a variety of authors. This is because the theme touches on the most crucial factors on earth (nature and man) and how these influence each other in societies that people live in. Among these authors include Ralph Waldo Emerson in his work “Nature”, Ray Janisse in “Forest beloved”, and Annie Dillard “The Present”. This essay, therefore, focuses on the theme of man vs. nature as explained in the works of these authors.
In “Nature,” Ralph Waldo Emerson states out a problem that exists, and which he attempts to find a solution for in the entire essay. The problem that exists according to Emerson is that human beings do not completely accept the beauty of nature and all that nature has to offer to them, as well as, other species. Emerson states that individuals are abstracted by the world around them. In this case, nature provides to humans, but humans do not do the same (reciprocate). The author breaks his essay into three sections all of which although have distinct perspectives; discuss the concept of humans vs. nature. These sections include commodity, nature, language, beauty, idealism, prospects, and spirit (Emerson and McLaughlin, 2010). These sections revolve around the theme of man vs. nature. These sections explain using different perspectives the relationship that exists between man and nature.
Human beings must take themselves away from the distractions and flaws of the society to experience what the author terms as completeness with nature for which they are suited naturally. In this case, solitude is the only means through which people are able to completely adhere to what nature has to give. Human beings search for this while reflecting upon the idea of solitude. However, in order for a person to go into solitude, a person must carry himself or herself from his chamber and society. This implies that a person must let nature to carry him or her away. Taking oneself from society is crucial because society has the potential of destroying the wholeness of humans. Humans and nature should establish a reciprocal kind of a relationship. This implies nature to humans is merely the material rather than the result and process. However, all parts of nature work for man’s profit. For instance the wind is involved in sowing seeds while the sun evaporates the sea. These are actions of nature that man has no control over. The wind also blows the vapor to the land, whereas the rain falls on the plant. Plant is important as it feeds animals and human beings. These endless circulations of nature occur to sustain human beings. Humans and nature need each other in order to become useful and beneficial to each other. This relation is not just a normal relationship; rather it is a spiritual one. Therefore, people should acknowledge the spirit of nature, as well as, accept this as the ‘universal being’. However, nature is not fixed as it is altered and moulded by spirit. The bruteness and immobility of nature refers to the absence of spirit or pure spirit and is not fixed (Emerson and McLaughlin, 2010). Nature creates a distinct perspective towards a person’s perception or view of nature, although it is highly metaphorical.
The theme of man vs. nature is highly advanced especially by Emerson especially in his use of spirituality. Reimagining the divine as something that is visible and large (nature) is done by many people. This notion is called transcendentalism. This is when a person perceives their bodies and anew God. These become one in people’s surroundings. The act of proving that nature and man can be one, in this case is what is required of a reciprocal association between the two. This, however, is influenced by a spiritual sense that exists on the natural world around human beings. This is what Emerson calls the Universal Being. The concept of nature is by itself devout. There, however, exist spiritual challenges addressed on nature, and which are left to human beings to solve. All these questions can be answered using just a single answer, that nature the spirit of nature can be expressed through human beings. These questions include what is matter? In this case, matter is not depicted as substance, it is a phenomenon, something that is experienced by all human beings and can grow as the emotions of human beings grow. The Supreme being does not create nature around individuals. However, He puts forth through human beings. This clearly indicates that everything must be moral and spiritual whereby there should be goodness between humans and nature. When taken from a philosophical point of view, the world is composed of the soul and nature. Therefore, all questions that human beings have, which in this case appear as their challenges can be resolved by use of nature to explain phenomena. The relationship that exists between nature and humans is something evident among all people as they are all surrounded by the natural world, which guides them.
Another author who advances on the theme of man vs. nature is Janisse Ray, in her work ‘Forest Beloved’. In this work, ray tries as much as possible to elaborate on the relationship that exists between man and nature. The author was brought up in the region along the Highway of the United States. For her, spending her life in rural isolation was not a bad thing at all as it grew into a passion to save the ecosystem of the almost vanished longleaf pine (Ray, 2000). This is essential in describing the relationship between nature and man, and how people acknowledge what nature has to offer for them. In regard to this, the author describes her world including her religious and traditional background, and how these influence the relationship between human and nature. Acknowledging the beauty of nature is essential just as noted by Emerson and it shows that humans appreciate not only things that nature provides, but also the Supreme Being as he is the overall provider. Some people see forests as scary environments, but do not consider the potential of forests to offer shelter and food for humans, which are the basic needs required for survival. Ray maintains that culture and landscape are closely related.
The author talks of the landscape that surrounds human beings and which the ancestors were also surrounded by it, the nature. Individuals recognize the significance of nature as they grow and develop an understanding of what nature offers to people. The responsibility for a person’s physical body is, thus, interconnected to the person’s responsibility towards nature. Everything that nature provides is beautiful starting from the sun, moon, stars, rivers, mountains, trees, and so forth. Nature has existed since history and will continue to exist over the next generations. the author’s love for nature assists in the understanding the significance of maintaining a harmonious relationship between man and nature, especially in the modern world where people have destroyed precious natural resources by either exploiting or polluting the environment.
The precious and natural and resources such as water, soil, and air have been intensively polluted with devastating costs or impacts. Consequently, people are now looking for means and ways of reducing or stopping the international pollution challenge as individual health is at risk or threatened by such pollution. Fortunately, a majority of governments and people have the perception that it is morally wrong and irresponsibly to pollute the environment bearing in mind that the future generations will depend on the same environment for survival. If human beings are capable of acting with some sense of responsibility to nature or the natural environment, as well as, to other individuals and the future generations who are yet to be born, then there is a need for an effective and appropriate environmental ethic in order to prevent further destruction of the current pollution challenge. This is because mankind and nature have an interdependent relationship. The relationship cannot be maintained if either of them is not capable of sustaining a healthy life for both nature and man. Thus, Ray provides a clear analysis of the relationship that exists between nature and man. Man has to depend on the environment to survive on this planet.
In ‘The Present’, Annie Dillard focuses on two states. The author gives a constant and intense attention to things that surround her in one state and the other where she has become part the natural environment around her without taking the aspect of time into consideration regard to time in what she calls the present. The states are entirely different. The author gives an account of a variety of experiences and applies them to express the closeness she gets from nature and the lessons she learns (Dillard, 2011). Her accounts are significant in analyzing the relationship between mankind and nature.
Self-consciousness is essential as it is valued by many people and is the one that separates us form the Supreme Being as well as other creatures. Without self-consciousness, individuals are not or are less familiar with the environment that surrounds as and are also less apt to understand all about nature and things of nature observed. Individuals appreciate the various and distinct types of animals and plants. However, self-consciousness has also some weaknesses in that it can obstruct experiencing and living the life in the present. Innocence, however, can help deal with this challenge as it arises. Both unself-conscious and self-conscious states are needed in the processes of experiencing, learning, and connecting about nature. The ability to observe the environment and see the creatures interact in the environment gives individuals some feeling of self-consciousness (Dillard, 2011). Examples of nature include the mountains, trees and animals found everywhere across the world. In general, it is clear that the two states are essential in understanding nature that surrounds human beings, although they are different in their occurrence. These are crucial in understanding the nature that surrounds human beings.
The above discussed three works discuss on the theme of man vs. nature. The relationship that exists between human and nature is universal and distinct in some way. The relationship has been considered by most people as not good because of the way human beings have exploited resources of nature that are critical for the survival of the present, as well as, the future generations. However, this has been changing as most people and organizations have come out to develop ways in which to ensure that the environment (nature) is sustained. This act is seen as focused on improving the relationship that already exists between man and nature. Both humans and nature have a responsibility towards each other and should execute this in order to sustain the relationship. It is essential to note that nature has all the solutions for human challenges and people should not forget this as they largely depend on nature for survival, although some people do not reciprocate what nature offers to them. Taking care of nature, for, instance could be among the ways through which humans can reciprocate in this relationship. This way, the relation will be sustained. The relationship between man and nature is, therefore, interdependent. Humans depend on nature for medicine, food, clothing, shelter, and other basic necessities for survival. In for human beings to benefit from nature without devastating destructions, they have to comprehend the concept of nature in order to be able to use the natural resources, as well as, live harmoniously not only with nature, but also with fellow human beings.

Emerson, R. W., & McLaughlin, W. (2010). The laws of nature: Excerpts from the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Berkeley, Calif: North Atlantic Books.
Ray, J. (2000). Ecology of a Cracker childhood. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions.
Dillard, A. (2011). Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Norwich: Canterbury Press.