Reconciling nature : literary representations of the natural, 1876-1945 / Robert M. Myers.
- Albany : State University of New York Press, 
xxvi, 208 pages ; 24 cm
- Nature in literature.
American literature -- History and criticism.
Nature in literature.
- Criticism, interpretation, etc.
- "Reconciling Nature maps the complex views of the environment that are evident in eight American novels written in the period between the Centennial Celebration of 1876 and the end of the Second World War. During this period, which encompasses the Progressive era and the New Deal, Americans held three contradictory views of the natural world: a recognition of nature's vulnerability to the changes brought by industrialism; a fear of the power of nature to destroy human civilization; and a desire to make nature useful. Author Robert M. Myers argues they reconciled these conflicting views through nature nostalgia, through policing of wilderness areas, and through strategies of control borrowed from the social sciences. Each chapter combines environmental history with original readings of each novel, producing fresh perspectives on Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), Stephen Crane's Maggie (1893), Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899), Upton Sinclair's The Jungle (1906), Mary Austin's The Ford (1917), Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy (1925), Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), and William Faulkner's Go Down, Moses (1942). While previous ecocritical works have focused on proto-environmentalism in classic works of literature, Reconciling Nature explores the ambivalence within these texts, demonstrating how they reproduce views of nature as threatened, threatening, and useful. The epilogue examines the environmental ideologies associated with the development and deployment of the first atomic bomb"-- Provided by publisher.
- Introduction : resisting the resistance narrative
Civilizing nature in Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
The ecological city in Crane's Maggie
Therapeutic nature in Chopin's The awakening
Disciplining nature in Sinclair's The jungle
Progressive conservation in Austin's The ford
Surveilling wilderness in Dreiser's An American tragedy
Assimilative nature in Hurston's Their eyes were watching God
Environmental stewardship in Faulkner's Go down, Moses.
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
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