A Feeling Of Wildness Essay Analysis
In “A Feeling of Wildness” by nature author David Gessner, the author embellishes on the idea of a wildness and what that means to him. His main theme throughout the essay is of our inner humanity and wildness, of how we lose it when we are trying to find it. We look for our wildness around us by traveling the world, hiking the Mount Kilimanjaro or wading through the Amazon rainforest. We search for our wildness in the people around us, our interactions and their immediate reactions, within family, friends, or strangers on the street. In pursuing our wildness, we forget to look where it always was, inside of us. How does the author point us in this direction? We see it first in the assembly of the essay. Gessner talks about the loss and mourning of his father’s death. The emotion, the pain, the heartache. Then he presents us with the birth of his daughter, Hadley. With birth we think of as a joyful, amazing, groundbreaking, once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Gessner describes it as gruesome, bloody, horrifying, and shocking experience. I think Gessner chose to write death to life, instead of life to death, because both experiences were raw and common. He experienced the almost same emotions for both events in his life. As a species, as he refers to us in paragraph three line thirteen, we have all experienced a moment of grief and humanity. Death and birth are basic stepping stones in our lives that everyone will go experience.
The author also flip-flops between anecdotes and nature descriptions to make the reader connect to his ideas of wildness. His reference to a breaching whale coming up as gallets dive down to grope for food. This leads us to the idea of unapologetic nature, untouched by man and showing us what the world is really like without man-made distractions. Why does the author use the idea of nature to show us our humanity or wildness? The idea of nature itself is pure, raw, unproblematic. We think of nature being free and without rules. Gessner’s purpose and word choice of this essay is to remind of that, our nature is our wildness. To unlock our nature allows to tap into out shared wildness. He reminds of this in his last paragraph, lines twenty-seven through twenty-nine. He describes the revelation he has of finding his primal side after the intense birth of his daughter, and that we “[come back] to our ordinary lives both changed and charged. ” This means that not only do we experience our wildness naturally, but we can without living life extremely. We also see Gessner change the tone of essay quite early. In paragraph one, Gessner discusses the environment of his home of Cape Cod beach. He describes the joy and laughter if the summer time, with children and families all along the edge, basking in the sun. Then he transitions to the dark cold winter, devoid of bliss and people. He uses this contrast to pierce farther into the idea of polar opposite nature, that it can change in the blink of an eye, just like life.
Looking forward, he uses the term fish-like to describe his father’s last few dying breaths. Why? Gessner describes this event in this distinct way to show us the wildness of death, that it transcends the human experience and connects to the wildness of the world. He implicates that our moral life and our wild life are one, and that there cannot be one without the other. The audience of the writer is everyone. I believe Gessner wrote this essay as a wakeup call to the world. We as a species are so engulfed and obsessed with our technology and new styles of living we forget our basic nature and intuition. We have become as a whole less compassionate, though we preach acceptance and love. We have become greedy, though we preach equality and equity. Why is this? It is because we have lost our sense of humanity from the disconnect created from technology. That is why I believe that Gessner wrote this essay to reinvigorate our minds. He’s telling us to put down our distractions and endure the world, for when we are distracted, we are not connected to our wildness.
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