Essay on Analysis Of Peter Miller 's ' Before New York '

Essay on Analysis Of Peter Miller 's ' Before New York '

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Earth was once a very different place. Before the human population grew to billions and began to travel distances beyond belief, wild animals and ancient forests governed the land. Peter Miller wrote an article, titled “Before New York” for National Geographic, that investigated how Eric Sanderson’s studies uncovered how Manhattan looked and operated as Henry Hudson sailed into New York Harbor for the first time. It may be hard to imagine Manhattan as anything other than a huge, busy, concrete jungle, home of countless skyscrapers, but it used to be diverse in wildlife. "If the island had stayed the way it was back then, it could have become a national park like Yosemite or Yellowstone," said Sanderson, an ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society, headquartered at the Bronx Zoo (Miller 5; 1). From discovering maps dating back over two hundred years to building a database of every species that lived on the island, Sanderson and his team were able to scientifically reconstruct the island’s landscape and wildlife. Miller writes a compelling article, about Sanderson’s research, using all three of the persuasive appeals to make his audience think. Using before and after computer generated images and interactive maps are an effective use of visuals and engage the audience.
Sanderson used the story Miller published as an opportunity to engage the audience into thinking about how the earth used to be before settlers came. Sanderson told Miller, "I 'd like every New Yorker to know that they live in a place that had this fabulous ecology. That New York isn 't just a place of fabulous art, music, culture, and communications, but also a place of amazing natural potential--even if you have to look a little harder here" (6). The audience...


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... three hundred species and at least eight thousand relationships linking each other and their habitats, Sanderson was able to build a 3-D model of historic Manhattan (Miller 6).
Peter Miller establishes credibility by using ecologist, Eric Sanderson, builds an emotional bond with the audience by sharing the events of beavers leaving and returning, and utilizing scientific research to build a model of the natural Manhattan. Miller uses Sanderson’s research to target the audience to think about New York before settlement and their own environments. Miller uses imagery as visual examples to show the audience actual differences from then to now. Manhattan has changed tremendously over the four hundred years’ humans have called it home. The island has transformed from a diverse place for wild animals and plants to a mixing bowl of human cultures, languages, and heritage.

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