We Make Important Connections With The Landscape Through Our Imagination

862 words - 4 pages

George Elliot once said “Adventure is not outside a man, it is within.” Here, Elliot alludes to the idea that we shape how we understand the world, our past, thoughts, feelings, beliefs and desires determine how we connect to a landscape. Following on from this concept it is implied that connections to the landscape are subjective and unequal, landscapes mean different things to different people and not all landscapes mean the same thing to one person. Furthermore, our connections to the landscape influence us because they are important to us, they can disappoint us or, conversely, encourage us and spur us on to action.
Landscapes are subject to people’s interpretations, factors like past experiences, fears and desires impact on how a person will connect to landscape. Most often a person determines the depth of a relationship with a landscape in that the landscape can only affect an individual as much as the individual allows. For Chris McCandless his choice of literature, his ethical views and his relationships with his parents all influence his ability to connect with the wilderness. Jon Krakauer reveals these factors referring to those who met Chris and his own experiences in the novel Into the Wild, Chris himself wrote that “You are wrong if you think joy emanates only or principally from human relationships,” possibly a result of his sour relationship with his parents who he thought of as tyrants, wasting their lives on meaningless things such as money, instead he thought joy came from a form of “unconventional living” and from passages from novels that he highlighted we see that he thought that “All true meaning resides in the personal relationship to a phenomenon, what it means to you.” Thus his negative relationship with his parents and his love of novels that romanticised the wilderness meant that he found a deep connection to the wilderness, “spellbound by the scale and power of the landscape…allowing this life to be shaped by circumstance.” He seeks out the landscape of the wilderness and allows it to determine many of his actions however it is only because he gives the landscape that control that it holds so much power over him. We can connect with landscapes if we wish to and this choice or desire is often fuelled by the subconscious, the books we read, the relationships we have and the things we believe or do not believe to be important, thus our interpretation of a landscape plays a major role in how we connect to a landscape.
Yet the interaction between individual and the landscape is not predicted by some sort of formula, it is subjective as seen by...

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