This prompt is over the Olmstead, Burroughs, and Marshall readings assigned this week. As mentioned on the homepage update, these writers, if not direct contemporaries of Muir, all present useful complements to his vision about the role of nature and wilderness in our everyday lives. Each of these authors presents a different idea of nature experiences–Olmstead, as a retreat from stifling city environments into urban “green spaces” which serve the needs of everyday working people; Burroughs, as a spiritually uplifting recreation for those living in rural settings and able to take in natural scenery on a regular basis; and Marshall, the forerunner of today’s “extreme wilderness” adventurer, most content in rugged and otherwise inaccessible spaces that few dares to visit. One underlying assumption to each writer’s work, however, is that time spent in natural settings serves us well. To begin, briefly consider how each writer conveys this message–use quotes and direct references to the text to illustrate your points. Next, judge the effectiveness with which each writer makes this point, deciding which one of the three writers makes this point most directly: who offers the best (i.e. most effective, most believable, etc.) version of this message and why? Develop your answer in the space of about three-quarters to a full page, and then offer detailed comments on two classmates’ postings.
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