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Botany Of Desire 1 Essay

1181 words - 5 pages

Michael Pollan opens the book questioning the relationship of humans and nature.
Who is the subject and who is the object? Who really is domesticating who/ from a plant’s eye,
he challenges the traditional relationship of human and nature present the argument that the
four plants- Apples, Tulips ,Marijuana and the Potato, have shaped human evolution just like
we shaped theirs. He calls it ‘’co-evolution’’. Nature plays a part in controlling us. He is what the
plants know about our desires that made them grow, survive and spread around the world until
today. Each has some qualities that know to stimulate human sense. The apples is a fruit that
appeals to a human’s yearning for sweetness, the tulip is a flower that appeals to a human’s
yearning for beauty, marijuana is a weed that appeals to a human’s desire for intoxication and
the potato appeals to a human’s desire for control. As time goes by, in order to survive, plants
learn to adapt, change forms to a new species to suit the environment as well as increase
humans desire for them.

Chapter 1 Introduces the legendry ‘’Apple Tree Man’’, John Chapman who introduced
the species to several locations in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The book recounts the basic natural
history of the apple and also explains apple’s importance in human civilization. An apple’s taste
of sweetness is a noble quality and it symbolizes satisfaction of human desire. This chapter was
filled with story of his journey how he planted thousands of apple trees across wild range of
orchards and ultimately sold them cheaper than other apple cultures. The author praises Johns
original way of plating seed, going from place to place and reminding us that the nature has its
own nature. What is ‘’sweetness’’? How do you define it? Sweetness is a biological desire that is
born in all human beings, so sweeter apples appeal more broadly than less sweet apples.
Sweetness is not an all or nothing experience, rather it is a natter of degree. Apples or drinks
can have a range of sweetness. Why do we desire sweetness in our life? It is not the same as
intoxication in which we want to forget our problems, sweetness is something innate to
ourselves. Once it was a way for us to generate enough calories to survive when food was
difficult to find. Into in this chapter we found out it that apples were not always sweet. Pollan
believes we have lost tour sense of sweetness by latching onto fake tastes that resemble what
our ancestors might have called sweet. Sweetness has been domesticated just like the apple.

Chapter 2 Introduces the Tulip flower. The tulip was the first flower that Pollan ever
planted and he believes that beauty is part of an evolutionary design for survival. But how we
can defined the beauty? Beauty is something that when perceived, brings pleasure to the
viewer. This can have a very temporary effect on a person, altering their very mental
perception even their...

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