Edward Abbey 's The Environmentalist Movement Essay

Edward Abbey 's The Environmentalist Movement Essay

Length: 1041 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Edward Abbey is one of the most unique figures in the environmentalist movement. Much of what he wrote was in opposition to the government, and the way the government protected and interacted with the natural world. Because of Abbey’s blatant criticism of this part of environmentalism, he inspired the militant environmentalist group Earth First!, which often hurts others for the sake of the environment. For this reason, they are on the terrorist watch list. His vision of nature seems to be of enjoying nature alone, without other people or the government intervening. Thus, he drove a gas-guzzling car and littered along the highway in hopes that people would have to move to the cities sooner. He also may have done this as a petty act of rebellion against the government in the form of making the government-owned roads dirty. Still, Abbey is a seemingly contradictory character; however, all his writing and actions somehow support his dislike of government and his own personal vision of nature.

Abbey has written many different books, which all center on the idea that the government tries to control too much. And a lot of what the government tries to control is the natural world. They build roads, fence off large stretches of land, and hold other land on exhibit in the national parks. Abbey didn’t agree with any of this, and seemed to think that people need to find nature on their own, as in his quote from A Voice Crying in the Wilderness: “What draws us into the desert is the search for something intimate in the remote” (Abbey 1989). People want to go to the desert to get away from others, and to have alone time with just their own thoughts. Abbey sees that people are doing this less and less, and points out that if people would just ...


... middle of paper ...


...dn’t really be seeing it. Rather, they would be failing to give it the same respect they give other culturally important places. On this note of respecting nature, Abbey also drove a gas-guzzling car and littered while he was driving down the highway. This may be bad for the environment, but in the long run Abbey believed it would be better. In his mind, the sooner the planet was in grave danger, the sooner more people would move to the cities, which produce less waste. This would also leave nature free of people and governments for Abbey to enjoy it alone. He also would do things in petty rebellion against the government, such as pulling out the surveyors’ stakes. He appears to be doing the same thing when he litters, and this seems to have brought about Earth First!. Still, everything he says and does supports his beliefs about nature and the government in some way.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Edward Abbey's Great American Desert

- Edward Abbey's Great American Desert Environmentalist and desert-lover, Edward Abbey in his essay “The Great American Desert” warns readers about the perilous dangers of the American deserts while simultaneously stirring curiosity about these fascinating ecosystems. He both invites and dissuades his readers from visiting the deserts of North America through the use of humor and sarcasm. In this essay, he is rhetorically successful in arguing that the open spaces of the undeveloped deserts are sacred places in need of respect and protection through his clever use of pathos and logos....   [tags: Edward Abbey Great American Desert Essays]

Better Essays
1367 words (3.9 pages)

The Monkey Wrench Gang By Edward Abbey Essay

- The Monkey Wrench Gang, written by Edward Abbey, is a fictional piece of literature advocating environmental issues and radical anarchism. “We can have wilderness without freedom,” Abbey said. “We can have wilderness without human life at all; but we cannot have freedom without wilderness”(xvi). The Monkey Wrench Gang was set in 1975, after the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal. There was a new sense of environmental awareness in the seventies enforced by the Federal government, including The National Environmental Policy, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Water Pollution Control Act (wiki)....   [tags: Environmentalism, Environment]

Better Essays
1353 words (3.9 pages)

The Damnation Of A Canyon by Edward Abbey Essay

- Today, having power is what everybody in this country relies on day to day and couldn't function without it. Every year more and more dams are being built and more man made reservoirs are being created to provide this electricity needed. These dams are very important in my eyes but Edward Abbey carries a different opinion in his writing "The Damnation of a Canyon." Edward Abbey's heart lies in the once beautiful Glen Canyon. He describes all of his wonderful childhood stories of him floating down the river and how all it took was a paddleboat and little money....   [tags: Abbey Damnation Canyon]

Free Essays
923 words (2.6 pages)

Environmentalists Essays

- Bill McKibben and Edward Abbey are both modern environmental writers who have had a noticeable impact on the environmental movement. One of Abbey’s novels, The Monkey Wrench Gang, was an inspirational piece for some of the founders of Earthfirst!, a far-left environmentalist group. McKibben’s most famous novel, The End of Nature (1989), is more widely read than any other nature book since Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring. Abbey, who is commonly associated with the Southwest,a has often been described as possessing a bitter but passionate attitude....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
974 words (2.8 pages)

The History and Purpose of the Environmentalist Movement Essay

- The movement that will be discussed is the Environmental Movement. This movement focuses on the environment and the well-being of the Earth. The Environmental Movement began on April 22, 1970, with the celebration of the first Earth Day. This movement was first created as a way to raise awareness about the Earth and its poor condition. This movement has widely been accepted as a Reform Movement as it was originally created to help make the world a better place (sociologyguide.com). Since the time of the first Earth Day, the Environmentalists have become so concerned with the plants and animals of the environment that they have begun to paint the picture that humans are the enemy and the rea...   [tags: eaarth day, environmental problems]

Better Essays
1324 words (3.8 pages)

The First Environmentalist Essay

- “We are the same as plants, as trees, as other people, as the rain that falls. We consist of that which is around us; we are the same as everything. If we destroy something around us, we destroy ourselves” (Buddha). This quote from Buddha depicts the essence of Buddhism and its intimate relationship with the environment. Buddhism new and old is intertwined with nature and the environment. Buddhism is intrinsically, at its core, environmentalism. Environmentalism shines through many aspects of Buddhism: the middle way, Samsara, Karma, iconography, and impermanence....   [tags: Buddhism Environmentalism]

Better Essays
1793 words (5.1 pages)

Essay about My First Encounter With Environmentalism

- My first encounter with environmentalism was in my first freshman year debate round. I walked into the room, trembling, my partner in tow, and presented a case that advocated ending the Cuban embargo. After eight minutes of nervously reading my notes off of my laptop, my opponents, mountainous seniors towering far above my bobbing head, argued that our neoliberal politics reinforce the patriarchal oppression of nature from an ecofeminist perspective. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed. I watched as their lips spewed words at lightning speed, too quickly for my nervous ears to catch....   [tags: Environmentalism, Environmental movement]

Better Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about My First Environmental Rally : An Advocate For Environmentalism

- When one of my friends invited me to go to my first environmental rally, I was ecstatic. Excited to finally put my beliefs into action, I stayed up until three in the morning the night before scouring my house for used cardboard to turn into picket signs. Insignificant decisions suddenly became of utmost importance to make sure I was the most prepared I could be, as I debated between whether a blue or a red marker would best communicate my stance against the massive environmental destruction of fracking and whether a shirt or a sweater would best present myself as an advocate for environmentalism....   [tags: Environmentalism, Environmental movement]

Better Essays
798 words (2.3 pages)

Authenticity in Northanger Abbey Essay

- Northanger Abbey:  Authenticity         In what is for Jane Austen an uncharacteristically direct intervention, the narrator of Northanger Abbey remarks near the end: "The anxiety, which in the state of their attachment must be the portion of Henry and Catherine, and of all who loved either, as to its final event, can hardly extend, I fear, to the bosom of my readers, who will see in the tell-tale compression of the pages before them, that we are all hastening together to perfect felicity." As far as I know this is the only overt reference Austen ever makes to the material nature of her medium, and the relationship of that materiality to generic conventions....   [tags: Northanger Abbey]

Better Essays
1529 words (4.4 pages)

Significant Monarchs in the History of Westminster Abbey Essay

- Significant Monarchs in the History of Westminster Abbey      Westminster Abbey, an architectural accomplishment from the thirteenth century on, gives an illustrative display of British history. While daily worship still exists, it isn’t a cathedral or a parish church (Internet Westminster). The elaborate Lady Chapel, the shrine of St. Edward the Confessor, as well as tombs and memorials for kings, queens, the famous and great, allow the Abbey to be considered a “Royal Peculiar”, which means that it falls under direct control of the British monarch (Internet Westminster)....   [tags: Westminster Abbey Architecture Monarchs Essays]

Free Essays
3588 words (10.3 pages)