The Division Of Nature in The Deliverance
Nature is found all-around individuals and has allowed humans to understand their strengths and weaknesses. Just like the characters in Deliverance, nature acts as an obstacle and causes many of the characters to face difficult challenges. Nature can also cause individuals to think differently about certain subjects and can even allow people to express their positive emotions. Not only can nature have a positive response on people but it also switches to become a danger to society. If you take into account all the deaths it has caused and all the destruction it created on Earth, it, therefore, harmed humanity. Either way, nature is uncontrollable and one will never know what to expect from “Mother Nature.” Nature has two different sides, the risk, and the reward.
After one spends time with nature, it changes one’s perspective and reduces the amount of stress and anger they may have felt. There have been many studies done by professionals to figure out the positive effects nature has on people. For example, one study showed that two-thirds of people chose to go into a natural setting to reduce their stress levels. In Deliverance, the men chose to go into nature because they wanted a break from their families. They thought that the river trip would allow them to bond and relax for once. Not only does nature allow individuals to escape from their troubles, but it also soothes people’s pain both physically and mentally. For instance, there was a study that found that “patients whose hospital rooms overlooked trees had an easier time recovering than those whose rooms overlooked brick walls” (Robert Urlich). This emphasizes that nature can change someone’s mental state, which in this case resulted in the patient or individual feeling less pain and recovering faster. Just like the patients, the characters in Deliverance were mentally and physically affected by nature but in a negative way. Throughout the story, the men get sick and tired of nature, which leads the men into dangerous situations. One of the characters, Drew, even puts himself into a hazardous situation by purposely jumping out of a canoe and attempting to drown himself. He does that do not have to deal with the physical and mental pain of the environment that nature had caused him. Overall, many people have a positive perspective on nature but nature has been known to put people in bad positions just like it did with the characters. However, nature has done and provided many things for human beings and individuals need to take better care of it. Hopefully, people will understand that nature affects one’s wellbeing but it will not always be “stable and delicate.”
The other side of nature is the hazardous side; the side that physically destroys society in a multitude of ways. In other words, natural disasters are “Mother Nature’s” way of breaking apart civilization and putting individuals in danger. Some natural disasters include tornadoes, hurricanes, mudslides and even climate change. All of these destroy the environment and have led to many casualties. For example, there was a “deadly mudslide that killed at least 200 people in Mocoa, Colombia in early April 2017. Two weeks later dozens of hillsides gave way in Manizales” (“Telegraph”). This highlights that nature is not always going to have a positive impact on Earth because the different patterns can allow “Mother Nature” to destroy the environment. “Mother Nature” has a mind of her own and is never looking out for society. Not only does nature act as a hazard, but it also separates and breaks the bond between people. For instance, after all those people died in the mudslide, their families were emotionally traumatized because they had lost some of their loved ones horrifically and will never be able to see them again. Another example would be in the book; after the men went on the river trip they were brought upon many different obstacles, one of them being the hillbillies that lived in the forest. The hillbillies mostly affected Bobby because he was raped by one and after that traumatic event he was afraid of the other men spreading the news to the public. (Dickey 113-114) This supports the fact that nature can break apart your relationships with your friends and even your family. Sadly, there is nothing people can change about nature and most people just have to deal with the risks it puts on them. In general, nature is always changing and one can never know what to expect from “Mother Nature” and her role in the universe.
Nature can also be both a positive and a negative force. Deliverance demonstrates both aspects of nature throughout the book. Even though the men were all together on their journey, every one of them had a different approach to nature. For example, the narrator of the book, Ed, used nature to learn new skills. Some of which included new hunting and fighting skills. On the other hand, Lewis saw nature as a weakness that caused him to feel defeated. For instance, in the middle of the book, Lewis is faced with an obstacle that leaves him immobile. Since he cannot lead the men through the river trip, the men must learn to adapt to nature and lead themselves through it. Both Drew and Ed tried to look at nature as two-sided and realized it brought them both risks and rewards. For example, there is a part in the book where Ed has to risk his life by climbing a rock wall but in the end, he was rewarded with a breathtaking view of a landscape. On the other hand, Bobby was the least educated before the trip, but throughout the trip, the near-death experiences led him to educate himself with survival and communication skills. Not only did nature educate the men but it also changed their perspective on life. Just like it did to the patients who had views of nature outside their hospital rooms. Once the men were faced with challenges they were all taught one thing; that “nature is always in control”(“Schoolworkhelper”) and there is nothing they could do to avoid it. In general, all four of the men had different thoughts on how nature was affecting them but in the real world, nature is unpredictable because it is always changing. Humanity just needs to understand the risks of nature so that one can prepare for the worst.
In general, people see nature as two-sided; the side that restores, heals and soothes people, and the side that tears people apart and destroys humanity. Nature is important because it allows people to break free from reality and lets individuals escape from their problems. It also provides humans with many resources they need for survival. However, nature has its downfalls, some of these include how nature’s cycles and patterns are always changing and can lead to many deaths and injuries. In some cases, it can even limit your survival which is what happened to the men in Deliverance. The trend of nature is important for the future because it will allow individuals to recognize the effects of nature and how nature is uncontrollable. Just like the characters in Deliverance people need to learn their strengths and weaknesses and understand “Mother Nature’s” control over how nature affects society. Overall, nature has its intentions and will not always be on an individual’s side. People should understand that nature can help or hurt you but either way, Nature needs to be respected because if it is not it can come back to haunt you just like it did to the characters in Deliverance.
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