Children in the Woods and Why I Hunt

1064 Words5 Pages
In the essay “Children in the Woods”, Barry Lopez discusses how he encourages children to take an interest in wildlife and nature conservation. His methods include taking children on walking tours through forests while prompting them to make observations. Lopez places special emphasis on the abundance of knowledge that can be gained through observation. Lopez emboldens children to use their imaginations while discovering nature instead of relying on the author’s “encyclopedic knowledge” (Lopez 735). The author also focuses on how many components of nature work together as a whole. In “Why I Hunt”, Rick Bass writes about his passion for hunting. Bass describes how hunting, besides a means of sustenance, is an exercise in imagination. Bass observes how society has become preoccupied with instant gratification and has lost its sense of imagination, “confusing anticipation with imagination” (Bass 745). Both essays share common ideas, such as how an active imagination is vital to the human experience, the totality of connection in the natural world, and the authors’ strong spiritual connections to their environments. In contrast, the main focus of Lopez’s essay is conservation education in children, while Bass’s essay discusses how society has become disassociated from nature in a modernized society. Lopez resides in the secluded rainforests of western Oregon and often has the opportunity to take children on guided tours through the woods. The author feels that these beginning tours are too full of “encyclopedic knowledge of the names of plants or the names of birds passing through in season” (Lopez 735). This shows that Lopez feels that reciting this information, while useful, is not what makes a lasting impression on childre... ... middle of paper ... ...e the essays share many of the same ideas, they differ in the message the authors are trying to deliver. Lopez hopes to inspire children to become nature conservationists in “Children in the Woods,” while Bass hopes to offer a glimpse inside a hunter’s mind in “Why I Hunt.” Both essays discuss the importance of a vivid imagination and the strong spiritual relationships that are nurtured in the natural world. Both authors credit their environments for their opportunity to experience nature in a way that most of society is unable to. Works Cited Lopez, Barry. “Children in the Woods.” The McGraw-Hill Reader Issues across the Disciplines. 11th Edition. Gilbert Muller. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print. Bass, Rick. “Why I Hunt.” The McGraw-Hill Reader Issues across the Disciplines. 11th Edition. Gilbert Muller. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. Print.
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