This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge Essay

1914 words - 8 pages

Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge

In Refuge, Terry Tempest Williams weaves together her experiences and relationships with family and nature, two major themes of Refuge, as well as two apparently important aspect of Williams’ life. The book is the story of the destruction of her family and the nature surrounding her, but it is these places that are being destroyed are the same places where Terry Tempest Williams finds comfort before, during and after cancer started to consume her life. I believe on the surface it is nature and family that provides her with comfort, but in actuality, it is something beneath the surface. As a young child, Williams was taught through the Mormon teachings to appreciate nature and family, finding God in both. It is through her Mormon faith that Williams is able to survive the pain, suffering and fear cancer causes her.

Williams describes the deep-rooted connection between her Mormon faith and her family in the opening pages of Refuge. Through her family, Williams supported her mother and grandmother through their fatal cancers, while acknowledging that her Mormon faith stresses family and community (Williams 13), providing Williams, her mother and her grandmother with a support network through these difficult times. The National Cancer Institute articulates the importance of this support to a cancer patient, suggesting, “that having good information and support services can make it easier to cope,” adding, “friends and relatives can be very supportive,” and concluding with the usefulness of support groups (NCI website In Refuge, Williams shows her support by sacrificing her own achievements, stating, “I have traded my position as curator of education for naturalist-in-resistance, which means more time in the field, more time to write and more with mother” (Williams 126). Williams’ mother would accompany her during expeditions in the field as a distraction from cancer in her daily life, as well as using this time for the two to spend together. Williams became her mother’s support, spending the last few years of her mother’s life in an understanding relationship of support and connection. The support Williams gave her mother was essential in helping her mother cope with cancer.

Williams’ family support network eased her own pains caused by witnessing her mother’s and grandmother’s suffering with cancer, being a potential cancer patient herself. This support network, which the Williams’ family demonstrates, gives patients release of emotions that accompany cancer. The week after Williams’ mother was diagnosed with cancer, she stated, “I’ve experienced every possible emotion this week” (Williams 34). This build of emotion can be overwhelming for any one, making the release of emotions critical. A study done by the American Cancer Society found that releasing emotion is beneficial during treatment and can help patients and family members cope (ACS website The Mormon faith...

Find Another Essay On Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge

Female Struggles Essay

1573 words - 6 pages Patriarchal cultures are the universal reality of modern society. People who believe in equal rights for women try to expose the pitfalls of patriarchy. A role of the feminists is to fight patriarchy. In Salt Lake City, Utah where there are a number of people who belong to the Church of Latter Day Saints, also known as Mormons, patriarchy also exists. Terry Tempest Williams discusses patriarchy and women’s connection to the land in Refuge. Over

The Reason Behind the Flooding of Great Salt Lake

1374 words - 5 pages 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

Mystery of Cancer

1094 words - 5 pages This writer and naturalist Terry Tempest Williams dedicates her writing to speak out on behalf of moral issues. Her personal website,, explains her qualifications, struggles, and dedication. She has won awards, has been invited to the White House, and testified in front of Congress. In her personal story called “The Clan of One-Breasted Women,” Williams shows her need for justice in this life. Even though there is no direct

The Importance of Being Ernest

935 words - 4 pages works. It is based on real events from the Spanish Civil War. INFLUENCE Ernest Hemingway has been called the most influential writer in American literature. “Hemingway influenced a generation of American writers and probably two generations of American men…” (Eric Foner and John A. Garraty). Heminway’s style was loved by many artists. Terry Tempest Williams stated, “Hemingway has been a powerful mentor, in terms of what it means to create a

Willa Cather Describes Erotics of Place in her Novel, A Lost Lady

2987 words - 12 pages . Emerson captures this transported state in his essay "Nature" with its description of the transparent eyeball. Thea Kronborg, in Cather's Song of the Lark, finds this transcendence while bathing in the stream at the bottom of Panther Cañon. Jim Burden finds it while swimming in the river outside Black Hawk. I first encountered the concept of an erotics of place in the writings of naturalist Terry Tempest Williams, whose essay entitled "Yellowstone

Depiction of Class in Tess of the d’Urbervilles, by Thomas Hardy

2559 words - 10 pages . Merryn and Williams comment on this within their critique: ‘Here, at the point of arrival of the most ideal educational mobility, was a deep cancellation of the life of the mind by the specific limitations and perspectives of class.’(Merynn/30) It is apparent from Hardy’s views in Jude the obscure he feels the importance of self education, due to Jude’s working class background he cannot prosper onto the university education he truly desires. Hardy

classic tragedy in modern perspective

6078 words - 24 pages as a tragic figure too; as a high-minded individual who is tragically caught between an ideal which is compelling but absent and a real world which is present but morally worthless. The world Ibsen portrays in The Wild Duck is an alienated space standing against man's ideals and desires from which he can only take refuge in "an Other world of compensating fantasy"(Johnston 2007), that is to say, an illusory world. In such a frustrating situation

The Rwandan Genocide: Factors that Contribute to Genocide

2907 words - 12 pages were desperately seeking refuge. However, how can genocide like Rwanda be prevented if the government promotes it? They are the leaders, the ones that are supposed to be protecting the country. The Holocaust, Somalia and Rwanda have all passed; genocide in Darfur is occurring - with the Law of Humanitarianism, why are these genocides not being prevented? “If governments are deaf to moral pleas for intervention and will only intervene in places

When the Bubble Burst

1539 words - 6 pages By the time I arrived state side from my second tour in the Middle East the housing bubble had already burst. I noticed a drastic change in the way that many of my friends and family were living. Several of my friends that worked in real estate had sold their boats and seconds houses. My own stock portfolio had lost a third of its value. My sister and her husband had defaulted on their home mortgage leaving them scrambling for a place to live. I

phase diagram

4456 words - 18 pages Introduction: Chemical equilibrium is a crucial topic in Chemistry. To represent and model equilibrium, the thermodynamic concept of Free energy is usually used. For a multi-component system the Gibbs free energy is a function of Pressure, Temperature and quantity (mass, moles) of each component. If one of these parameters is changed, a state change to a more energetically favorable state will occur. This state has the lowest free energy

Revolutionary Work of Art

1890 words - 8 pages Walter Benjamin emphasizes in his essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility” that technology used to make an artwork has changed the way it was received, and its “aura”. Aura represents the originality and authenticity of a work of art that has not been reproduced. The Sistine Chapel in the Vatican is an example of a work that has been and truly a beacon of art. It has brought a benefit and enlightenment to the art

Similar Essays

Cancer And Terry Tempest Williams' Refuge

1777 words - 7 pages 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

Terry Tempest Williams Essay

1782 words - 7 pages 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

Terry Tempest Williams' Journey Into Self Spirituality

1101 words - 4 pages has adapted. “Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find.” (Williams, B 385). Works Cited Riley, Jeannette E. "Finding One's Place in the "Family of Things":Terry Tempest Williams and a Geography of Self.." Womens Studies. 32.5 (2003): 585-602. Print. Williams, Terry T. Finding Beauty in a Broken World. 1st. New York: Pantheon Books, 2008. Williams, Terry T. Leap. Vintage, 2001. Williams, Terry Tempest. Refuge, An Unnatural History Of Family And Place. Vintage, 1991. Williams, Terry T."The Moment I Became a Feminist ." progressive. (2011): n. page. Print.

Analysis Of Terry Tempest Williams' Short Story, The Clan Of One Breasted Women

1164 words - 5 pages evident in a story to enable the reader to comprehend and trust the writer. The three tactics of persuasions became ethos, pathos and logos. The Clan of One-Breasted Women, by Terry Tempest Williams describes the tale of a young girl's family being affected by breast cancer and how it has greatly impacted her lifestyle. When taking a closer look at the structural content of the story, one can notice that the elements of persuasion are vaguely