The Concept of Nature in Literature: Analysis of Doris Lessing's "The De Wets Come to Kloof Grange"

 
9783640577132: The Concept of Nature in Literature: Analysis of Doris Lessing's

Essay from the year 2009 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: 2, University of Münster, language: English, abstract: Ecocriticism is still on its academic margins. Nevertheless, depending on the text one deals with, nature plays a vital role in understanding and analyzing literature.1 The present essay focuses on the views of nature in the short story "The De Wets come to Kloof Grange" by Doris Lessing.2 The Dictionary defines nature as "everything that exists in the world independently of people, such as plants and animals, earth and rocks, and the weather"3. Yet, in order to analyze nature in its literary context, it is important to point out that culture has a great impact on nature and its understanding.4 To analyze the view of nature, it is vital to recognize that the nature-culture distinction is not always absolute and clear cut.5 There is nature, and culture, and states partaking in both. Barry introduces the "outdoor environment [...] [as a] series of adjoining and overlapping areas which move gradually form nature to culture"6. To answer the question how nature is displayed within the story and hence to be able to draw a conclusion from these particular views of nature, different areas will be used to classify nature in its cultural context. Taking Barry's classification7 into account, the view of nature in the story "The De Wets come to Kloof Grange"8 will in the following be associated with three distinctive areas. Area one is referred to as the scenic sublime. It includes, for instance, forests, mountains and rivers. Moreover, there is area two, the countryside, which implies hills, fields, woods, etc. The greatest impact of culture can be found in area three, the domestic picturesque. It describes such things as parks and gardens.

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