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…show more content…
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 does not have to focus on New York’s natural potential, it could be anywhere. This allows the audience to relate by using their own imaginations. Miller uses phenomenal imagery to compliment his writing. A photo of a beaver and elk naturally spending their time beside a creek, long before the same spot transformed into Times Square, shocks the audience into realizing that this chaotic metropolitan was once a peaceful home to…show more content…
Miller becomes credible on the subject of discussion by using Sanderson as an expert. Miller explains that Sanderson is an ecologist at the Bronx Zoo early in the article. Doing so builds a good reputation and establishes trust for both speakers. In 2007, a beaver appeared on a riverbank near the Bronx Zoo. Sanderson was very surprised when he found out, and told Miller, “There hasn 't been a beaver in New York City in more than 200 years" (Miller 1). Miller explains that beavers were hunted and soon vanished. The return of the beaver to Manhattan excited Sanderson who had been working on a project to show what the island looked like before the city boomed. Telling the series of events that led to the disappearance and return of the beaver from Manhattan makes an emotional connection to the audience. Miller writes, “If people today could picture what a natural wonder Hudson had looked upon, Sanderson figured, maybe they 'd fight harder to preserve other wild places” (2). This statement encourages the audience to think of a similar location that they would like to preserve. Sanderson said, "I wanted people to fall in love with New York 's original landscape. I wanted to show how great nature can be when it 's working, with all its parts, in a place that people normally don 't think of as having any nature at all" (Miller 2). The audience can relate to the article by Miller’s use of
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