Humanity and Nature Relationship in Essays
The relationships between humans and nature have been a subject of interest for as long as humanity exists. The philosophers, thinkers, poets, writers, and scientists of all the times tried to define the connection between the people and natural powers, name it, trace it, establish certain regularities in this connection. However, this issue remains one of the most contradictory in the world. Once the Earth was created, God gave nature to humans, so that they could use it for their needs. Logically, it should seem that a man is a master of nature with its inhabitants and phenomena. However, nature appeared to be less complaisant than expected. It often demonstrates its power in the most furious and outrageous ways, letting us know who in the hierarchy of life is. Thus, while people can choose the weather conditions or climate to live in, they can never predict what role nature will play in their lives. This idea can be best illustrated by the essays “Spring comes to Hogeye”, “The Smooth Skull of Winter”, “A Nerve-Racking Adventure”, and by the article “The man in the Water”.
All of the mentioned writings touch on the issue of relations between nature and humans. To be more specific, all of them show how dependent can people be on the natural powers. The first thing that occurs while reading these works is that man always tries to tame nature to some degree, to use it for his or her benefit. That is why, Ira Solenberger tried to plant the gardens, studying the soil for years and using its potential. For the same reason, the inhabitants of Wyoming are involved in calving on cold nights of winter. The man in the water, mentioned in the newspaper article, did not aim to use nature; however, he certainly acted as its master, while refusing to get rescued. The author of “A Nerve-Racking Adventure” also did not consider nature while planning his trip to the embassy. In all these cases, people build plans about their future, seek to live their lives just like they want to do it, and do not seem to fit all their plans for the natural powers.
Such detail as weather conditions is often being underestimated by humans. People seem to organize their lives not within the scope of the weather, but in some parallel world. The conditions are accepted as something that comes and goes, something temporal, and something that simply exists, whether we want it or not. People do not modify their lives in agreement with nature, which is easy to explain, as the unpredictable natural powers would demand a very flexible way of life, while humans seek stability. Only some minor changes can be introduced in human habits and order of life, but most people prefer to think that they are independent of nature. Otherwise, the author of the essay “A Nerve-Racking Adventure” would not take a risk of traveling by bus in such weather; the man in the water would probably be saved, and the field worker from “The Smooth Skull of Winter” would never dare to take a short cut home. However, even though humans are often unaware of what great role nature plays in their life, nearly everyone at least once in a lifetime feels the power of nature. This power is incredibly strong, and it can influence our plans, our lives, or even take some lives away.
Indeed, sometimes the natural phenomena like winter storms can be very hazardous. The essay “The Smooth Skull of Winter” gives us several dreadful examples, such as the situation when a man needed to cut off his finger just to use his blood as a marker, or as the other dangerous situations, where people and animals get frozen (Erlich, 2). This points to the fact that human lives depend on nature. A similar dependence can be traced in “Spring comes to Hogeye”, though this case is less outrageous. Ira Solenberger is also shown to be dependent on nature. Even though this man is regarded as a master of the soil, his life in fact would be meaningless without nature. All he had ever done in his life is connected to gardening, which he was involved in until his last days. After all, the man himself established a clear connection between human life and nature, stating that “life is at low ebb after midnight and in the short days” (Hoy, 16). This formulation makes it evident for the readers that the relationships between a human and nature are much deeper than they appear, and that human life is often dependent on some minor changes in nature.
The fact that human life can be influenced by the nature is also proved in the essay “A Nerve-Racking Adventure”. Even though the author does not trace any specific regulations about this connection, his personal experience points to the fact that a man is not always the one to decide how the events will turn out. The accident in the bus because of snowy and stormy weather proves that nature sometimes shows its character when we less expect it. Just like in the previous essays, we can see that a man is shown as a helpless creature, unable to change anything about the weather conditions. We can choose our plans for life, our location, control our actions. However, when it comes to nature, nothing can be predicted for sure. Due to this fact, the man from “The man in the Water” planned his trip on the plane, but he could never predict where he would appear. None of the passengers could predict it, as well as the rescue team, who also had to risk their lives in the battle with nature.
Taking into consideration all the mentioned examples, it can be stated that, even though there is no evident connection between humans and nature, their relationships are in fact of a very deep character. In our imagination, human is the master of everything on Earth, including nature. People can use the natural resources, preserve or spend them, foster them, distribute them among the community members. However, we often fail to realize that there is a strong reverse connection, which lies in our dependence on nature. This dependence is much stronger compared to the one nature has in respect to humans. Nature feeds us, gives us life and air to breathe, helps us to support life; it can as well change our lives for better or for worse, or even take our lives away. Thus, while nature’s dependence on humans is relative, our dependence on nature is close to absolute, especially when taking into consideration that natural phenomena are impossible to control.
All the abovementioned facts can make an impression of despair, which is to be felt by humans, who have no control over nature. However, there is another side of the relationship between humans and nature. For instance, nature seems to reveal certain feelings and abilities in humans; in other words, nature can serve as an indicator of the human inner world. Indeed, different natural conditions can encourage people, inspire them, and give them strength to demonstrate the power of will. Maybe in the battle against nature people are helpless; however, this also unites all the people, makes them closer, and forces people to stick together. One of the brightest examples is the mutual help to each other observed in “The Smooth Skull of Winter”. Being put in one situation, people get a better understanding of each other. The hazardous weather conditions have caused compassion and a sense of brotherhood, which are the key elements in the human environment.
Similarly, nature evoked the heroic abilities in the man in the water, who tried to save others with a great commitment (Rosenblatt, 86). Another example of this phenomenon can be found in the essay “A Nerve-Racking Adventure”: even though nature caused a disaster, it eventually made the son closer to his father. Besides the feeling of connection with the father, the young man also found something else in this situation caused by bad weather. To be more specific, he found in himself the strength to move on to his purpose, even though there was no guaranty for his success. Similarly, another character, namely the farmer Ira Solenberger, was first discouraged by the unsuccessful growing of some cultures; however, it is obvious that this failure inspired the old man to continue gardening for one more season. Thanks to the disobedient soil, the man did not give up his business and continued planting the fruits and vegetables for one more year before he died. Thus, we can see from all these examples, that nature can not only influence human life externally but also change the internal state of the human mind. This is incredible how a blow of wind can change the direction of both the human body and human thoughts.
All in all, it can be stated that there is a strong undeniable connection between humanity and nature. At first sight, this connection is presented in their interdependence; however, with the deeper analysis, it becomes obvious that human life is more subject to the influence of nature than vise versa. The relationships between people and natural phenomena are very close, and they should not be underestimated. There are thousands of facts proving this hypothesis, and the brightest ones were included in the analyzed essays. They all give us a useful lesson, which is to always respect nature, and always remember how strong its influence on our lives can be.
Erlich, G 1985. The Smooth Skull of Winter.
Hoy, P 1991. Reading and Writing Essays: The Imaginative Tasks. NY: Mcgraw-Hill.
Rosenblatt, R 1998. “The Man In the Water”. Times, 198: 86.