Nature Is Relative
In the latest section of Piercy’s novel discussed in class, themes of nature have sprung questions that weren’t quite answered. I’d like to contemplate this topic and by doing so, I invite criticism to challenge my understanding of the debatable topic. Nature is a confusing notion, especially in our time because the modern world seems to be changing the meaning of words due to continuous adaptations of life. Humans have a hankering for aesthetics, the nature of beauty in reality. I find the contemporary lifestyle of the west to have changed the meaning of beauty by straying away from nature. People who seek surgery to change physical appearance act as exemplars, altering features that have been passed on through genes naturally. It seems as though; humans continue to venture into some sort of rabbit hole that could very well be technology. It has become a natural part of a human’s life. Advancements in technology have revealed a visual form of evolution that has been sped up. Humanities focus has been shifted to an exterior part of itself. For example, a cell phone is like a detached limb yet it still reveals parts of who the owner is through the conversations, social media, photos, etc. News sources are constantly prioritizing information about new phones with their subtle advancements along with multitudes of negative stories. I no longer allow myself to be informed by one news source.
Humans have made life outside of nature natural. Sociologist George Mead describes developed human interaction as a game stage, where roles and rules exist. Yod puts his “game” face on when he conceals his true nature of yearning for belonging that he has only revealed to Shira (184). To apply the game stage to the real world, not the natural world, in the workplace there are social norms and customs that are perpetuated that attempts to build a stable ground in which everyone can stand on. To add to the ambiguity of nature, breaking the norms and customs leads to alienation, rather feeling unnatural. So it’s natural to fit somewhere in the social constructing. Standing outside of the boundaries created, comes with feelings of estrangement like when Avram describes Yod’s work as demonic, Yod deems the comparison to a being that exists (supposedly) outside of nature as perturbing (182).
Humanity has altered the face of the world by replacing and building over natural environments to suit our own nature. This is where nature differs, which leads me to wonder if it is natural to manipulate. I agree in the sense of nature being everything that is real because everything that exists, exists naturally by varied elements, but imposing manipulation of the elements is what makes me question nature. This definition would imply that unnatural does not exist when it surely does. I understand that humans have formed societies that have altered nature to be of our own definition, but I see true forms of nature existing untamed in the wilderness. When we spend too much time inside of a building wishing there were windows, when we’re in need of fresh air, when we look into the depths of space; why does it feel so good to be exposed to nature?