Formal Abstract

Muir is an author that leaves a profound impact on his readers, it seems like all of us wanted to follow him into the wild and explore nature with him. I wanted to find out why, what makes us want to be in nature with Muir. So I will be exploring the language he uses, the mind and thoughts of people who follow his trails, and who Muir is as a person outside of his self reflective writing, in order to find out why we all feel the need to be in nature like he is.


My first source: “Articulating Wild Spaces: John Muir’s Lexical Wonderland” explores how he uses the language he uses to encapture the reader. This language is the foundation for how he as a writer makes us want to make direct experiences of our own in nature, so a deeper exploration of it allows us to get a greater picture on how and why he does this. This source also interestingly tells us more about Muir’s thoughts on language and how writing is supposed to effect the reader, which lets us see another aspect as to whether or not his writing does what he intends for it to do.


My second source: “This Glorious Darkness: Reflections from the John Muir Trail” is an incredibly interesting memoir of someone who decided to follow the Muir trail. From the beginning it is assured she knew that she would hike this trail after she turned 50, and she knew that she had to be alone. This source is full of isolation but also the beauty of the natural world. She lets us slip into her mind, and we can see the thoughts of someone who was enthralled in Muir’s work as we were. This philosophical source makes us think more about the time we spend in nature and life, as she moves towards the summit of the mt. whitney.


The final source is much more simple and calm in comparison. “John Muir and the modern passion for nature” talks more about Muir’s history and his character. Finding out more about the man himself leads us to be able to understand more of his actions. Just in the first few chapters, the author talks about his “incessant gab” and how Muir never stops talking about his passion for nature. Just knowing that fact, that everyone around him was interested in hearing his passionate talking of nature, allows us to link the Muir from the story to the Muir in real life. And the more we know about him the less fictional he becomes.


Heitschmidt, Gregg. “Articulating Wild Spaces: John Muir’s Lexical Wonderland.” CEA Critic,

vol. 75 no. 2, 2013, pp. 175-182. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/cea.2013.0018


Perluss, Betsy. “This Glorious Darkness: Reflections from the John Muir Trail.” Psychological

Perspectives, vol. 58, no. 2, Apr. 2015, pp. 135–150. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/00332925.2015.1029410.


Donald Worster; John Muir and the Modern Passion for

Nature, Environmental History, Volume 10, Issue 1, 1 January 2005, Pages 8–19,


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