In this week’s reading about Hetch Hetchy, Muir clearly has a different objective in mind than he does in the earlier, more idealistic readings we’ve encountered (that prompt comparison with Tim Treadwell and Christopher McCandless, as suggested by the clips provided). In contrast to the images of godly, flighty idealism shown in the other readings, Muir works to bring readers to his position that this beautiful valley in Yosemite should be left alone. He uses a number of strategies to achieve this goal, and in today’s discussion posting, I’d like you to identify those two strategies that seem most evident in your reading. How does Muir establish his argument that this place of natural beauty should be saved, and what kinds of images help him to achieve this goal? In short, what forces is he “up against,” and how does he offer a reply to these? How do his ideas connect, and how do they contrast, with those of Gifford Pinchot and Frederick Law Olmsted (this latter figure we’ll read next week), who also advocate–in comparable ways—for “natural spaces” that should serve the people? Be sure to cite specific sentences and passages in your posting, which is worth up to fifteen points. And up to five points for two replies, which should also be developed to a proper degree (3-4 sentences).
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