Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge Essay

Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge Essay

Length: 1047 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge


Adaptation is the source and story of a species’ survival. Human beings’ journey across and habitation of the earth’s surfaces demanded resilience to change. As a result each race is a product of the land in which they inhabited. We have grown with the land. Our physical traits tie us to a particular region, a particular place, but what of our emotions? Are they another link to our homelands or do they orphan us, forcing us to seek refuge? Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge, is the story of her adaptation to change, her struggle to weather changes. The emotional maturity of her relationship with the Great Salt Lake is a subset of her wider community’s relationship to their homeland. This emotional separation from the land is characteristic of modern societies, not the archaic ones. For a Native American tribe like the Sevier-Fremont, the land is ---. In order to successful adapt to the changes in her life, Williams combines the present day idea of ownership of the land with the Sevier-Fremont people’s example of reaction to changes in the land to form the skills necessary for her survival.

In 1982 the Great Salt Lake had begun to rise once more and Williams’ mother’s cancer had returned. As naturalist-in-residence at the Utah Museum of Natural History, she was interested in the effect this rise in the lake would have on the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge as well as the measures implemented by the state to control this unprecedented rise. The Great Salt Lake preserved many of Williams’ childhood memories in its briny waters. Its rising waters threatened to destroy everything that had grown from it and depended on its stability. Williams believed that left on its own the lake would right itself. ...


... middle of paper ...


...d and selflessly relinquishes her mother to death. She comes to realize the cycles involved in life and enters a new relationship with her mother and the Great Basin. Her mother although she’s dead is always with her and the Great Basin has now become her home. In an act of civil disobedience Williams goes to protest at a testing site armed with her pen and paper. Wlliams shows her understanding of the natural cycle of death by leaving an injured bird she could have saved to be with her dying mother.

Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge is an illustration of human beings deteriorated relationship with nature. Nature is no longer our life source but something for us to own and control. Although we might recognize its life giving potential we do not see it as part of ourselves in that whether we were molded from its clay or evolved from bacteria. We grew from the earth.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge Essay

- Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge If we bemoan the loss of light as the day changes to night we miss the sunset. In her memoirs Refuge, Terry Tempest Williams relates the circumstances surrounding the 1982 rise in the Great Salt Lake as well as her mother’s death from cancer. Throughout the book Williams gets so caught up in preventing her mother’s death that she risks missing the sunset of her mother’s life. However the Sevier-Fremont’s adaptability to changes in nature inspires Terry Tempest Williams to re-evaluate her response to changes in her life....   [tags: Terry Williams Refuge Essays]

Strong Essays
1175 words (3.4 pages)

Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge Essay

- Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge Adaptation is the source and story of a species’ survival. Human beings’ journey across and habitation of the earth’s surfaces demanded resilience to change. As a result each race is a product of the land in which they inhabited. We have grown with the land. Our physical traits tie us to a particular region, a particular place, but what of our emotions. Are they another link to our homelands or do they orphan us, forcing us to seek refuge. Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge, is the story of her adaptation to change, her struggle to weather changes....   [tags: Terry Williams Refuge Essays]

Strong Essays
1047 words (3 pages)

Essay on Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge

- Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge Everything known to man is held in some sort of balance. It is a delicate balance, one which swings rhythmically to the ebb and flow of this world. Many have studied it but it has proven too complex, too broad to understand everything that is at work. That is why it must be preserved. One such movement has recently begun which looks exclusively to preserve this balance, ecofeminism. Terry Tempest Williams is just that, an ecofeminist. In her memoir Refuge¸ Williams attempts to examine the ecological and social worlds that balance on this pendulum....   [tags: Terry Williams Refuge Memoir Essays]

Free Essays
1266 words (3.6 pages)

Cancer and Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge Essay

- Cancer and Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge “I cannot prove my mother, my grandmothers, along with my aunts developed cancer from nuclear fallout in Utah. But I can’t prove they didn’t.” Epilogue, Refuge In Terry Tempest Williams’s Refuge, death slowly claimed almost all of the women of her family. Death took Williams’ family members one by one just one or two years apart. In every case, the cause was cancer. Williams insisted in the epilogue that fall-out from the 1951-62 nuclear testing in Utah brought cancer to her family....   [tags: Cancer Research Refuge Williams Essays]

Strong Essays
1781 words (5.1 pages)

Essay about Refuge, by Terry Tempest Williams

- “My cancer is my Siberia” (93), Terry Tempest Williams’ mother concluded. In her memoir, Refuge, Terry Tempest Williams writes about her mother’s struggle with cancer. Williams’ mother comes to conclude that cancer is her Siberia after having read Tolstoy’s inspiring novel, God sees the truth, but Waits about an innocent man falsely accused of murder and sent to a prison in Siberia. I think of Siberia as bitter cold deserted tundra region. I imagine political prisoners and prison camps. Stalin’s oppressive regime lingers in my mind and a stench of death circulates the air....   [tags: Essays on Cancer]

Strong Essays
2252 words (6.4 pages)

Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams

- Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams Refuge; An Unnatural History of Family and Place, by Terry Tempest Williams, is a thought-provoking, sentimental book that explores both the unnatural and the natural events that take place in her life. The deception and lies of the reports presented by the United States government, which lead to the fall out of atomic bomb testing in Utah in the 1950's and the rise of the Great Salt Lake and its effect on bird’s serve as the backdrop of this book....   [tags: Terry Tempest Williams Unnatural Essays]

Strong Essays
1315 words (3.8 pages)

Terry Tempest Williams Essay

- Terry Tempest Williams Born to a Mormon family and raised in Utah, Terry Tempest Williams’ being is rooted in her religion and the wild of the desert. These two elements compound to shape her identity, although their co-existence does not always reside in harmony. In 1983, the Great Salt Lake began to swallow Williams’ beloved bird sanctuary. Simultaneously, her mother learns that she has cancer. This juncture in time signals a major turning point in the course of her life. While, unable to stop the steady rise in the lake, Williams is unable to keep her mother on this Earth....   [tags: Author Authors Terry Tempest Williams Papers]

Strong Essays
1792 words (5.1 pages)

Terry Tempest Williams and Mormonism Essay

- Terry Tempest Williams and Mormonism In Mormon religion, formal blessings of healing are given by men through the Priesthood of God. Women have no outward authority. But within the secrecy of the sisterhood we have always bestowed benisons upon our families. Mother sits up. I lay my hands upon her head and in the privacy of women, we pray. (158) Terry Tempest Williams is fully aware that she is contradicting the church when she writes “women have no outward authority,” yet she still chooses to take part in a ritual of healing that can only be performed by the men....   [tags: Terry William Mormon Essays]

Strong Essays
1430 words (4.1 pages)

The Reason Behind the Flooding of Great Salt Lake Essay

- The Reason Behind the Flooding of Great Salt Lake In Refuge, Terry Tempest Williams blames a natural disaster—the overflowing of the Great Salt Lake in Utah--for the destruction of the place she loved most in the world, the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. What Williams attempts to explain, however, is that this disaster wasn’t really “natural” at all. Refuge is critiqued by some for being over-dramatized, and Terry Tempest Williams is often criticized for blaming the world and others for the loss of the bird refuge....   [tags: Terry Williams Refuge Essays]

Strong Essays
1381 words (3.9 pages)

Terry Tempest Williams' Journey Into Self Spirituality Essay

- Terry Tempest Williams is a naturalist, a feminist, a writer who brings such power into everything she touches. Herself driven passion with her positive outlook and drive for change has brought so much goodness into this world. She has overcome many obstacles, including her own struggle within herself, but has last realized that the fight with nature is the same fight we have with ourselves, and ultimately accepting the outcome; whatever that may be unnatural, or natural, is the secret to life. Terry is a Mormon who grew up in Utah, loving nature and striving to keep it natural....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Strong Essays
1064 words (3 pages)