Perception of Wilderness

What is wilderness? Wilderness can be defined many ways and has changed over time. William Cronon gives an interesting description of what use to be considered wilderness in The Trouble with Wilderness. He describes wilderness to be “deserted, savage, desolate, barren and in short, a waste”. Today someone may describe wilderness as peaceful, quiet, and lively. Cronon also states that wilderness is a place in which someone only goes against their will, and always in fear. Yet today, people go to the “wilderness” as a get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

People’s perception of wilderness has changed because people have changed. When there was more wilderness than civilization the wilderness was feared. Now that big cities are plentiful and wilderness is scarce people want to do everything they can to save and preserve it. Since people are doing so much to preserve and control the “wilderness” is it really even wilderness anymore? 

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2 thoughts on “Perception of Wilderness

  1. I think this is a great start to what could be a more detailed discussion — you make some generalized points and ask a good question. I’d encourage you to go into more detail and even try to answer your question.

    I love the photo — very appropriate for what we’ve been discussing!

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