The Trouble with Wilderness: Getting Back to the Wrong Nature by William Cronon

The ROOT of the problem

There is us. And then there is the wilderness. For so long, humanity has separated itself from this extreme. Capitalizing on the notion that the wilderness is distant and untouchable. Our need to control it betrays its very meaning. The wilderness is in fact all around us all the time. It is not about us and the wilderness, it is about us in the wilderness. I, like many others in society, felt a space between the wilderness and myself. Our connection with nature tends to thrive from a nonhuman connection as we set it apart from ourselves. We idealize nature and the wilderness in a sense that makes it remote and unapproachable. The wilderness and our desire for a relationship with it, has become a human creation. Rather than let the wilderness be in itself unique and tranquil, we force our own notions out of it. We yearn for an ideal function of nature to feed our emotions when it surrounds us every day. Cronon points out the flaw in our thinking about the wilderness. Society, including myself tend to overanalyze its true function. Our over analyzation can lead to the demise of the wilderness. My past notions of the wilderness have been restricted to what society deems appealing about it. We have confined the wilderness in a bubble that cannot contain it. In this way, the reading differs from my past notions about the wilderness. It sheds a light on humanity and its habits concerning the wilderness. Furthermore, it demonstrates the human produced wilderness that is in fact becoming contaminated with our preconceived notions. In this reading, Cronon holds a mirror to society and calls us to question our behaviors and thoughts regarding nature.