Emerging from the scientific innovations and urbanization of The Enlightment movement was the notion of human domination over nature. In Everest, the climbers had one goal: to make it to the top of the mountain. As Rob Hall said it, “We will beat this mountain.” This gives the viewers the sense of domination and desire that humans have for controlling their environment. While the climbers were all competing with one another to summit first, they realized that in order to “beat” the mountain then they must cooperate with one another taking a “we” rather than an “I” approach, much like that used during the Enlightment. Furthermore, when the climbers reached the top of the mountain they all marked the territory with flags and other personal possessions. The filmmakers are d...
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William Cronon, an environmental historian, believed that the Enlightment and Romantic movements had much in common. Interpretation of Cronon’s essay shows these commonalities by describing how humans view themselves as being separate from the environment. Cronon uses the term “wilderness” to describe the separation that was brought about by the rapid industrialization of Earth, a theory consistent with that of the Enlightments. By separating these two entities, humans think of the “wilderness” as a pristine, untouched place that needs to be set aside in order and respected, much like that see in the Romantic ideals. Cronon would suggest that Everest brings these two movements together by presenting Everest as the ultimate wilderness, possessing majestic beauty, that is inhabitable by humans, and as a result humans want to connect with nature by conquering it.
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