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Study on a Sand County Almanac from the Perspective of Ecocriticism

Author: JiYaBin
Tutor: WangWen
School: Shaanxi Normal University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: A Sand County Almanac Aldo Leopold ecocriticism land ethic wilderness
CLC: I712.06
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 75
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Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) is considered as the father of American wildlife management and American prophet. His most outstanding representative work is A Sand County Almanac. It is the foundation of the science, the policy and the ethics about the conservation of natural resources. Abundant and deep ecological thoughts are filled in this book.This thesis intends to study Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac from the view of ecocriticism, exploring the ecological thoughts in this book. This thesis is made up of four parts.Part one mainly introduces the author Aldo Leopold and the book A Sand County Almanac. This thesis gives a brief introduction to Aldo Leopold’s early life, schooling, career, and major works. For A Sand County Almanac, this thesis introduces its main content and significance.Part two is the introduction of the study background and the theoretical basis. First, the literature review of A Sand County Almanac at home and abroad are simply collected and analyzed. There are few people study A Sand County Almanac from the view of ecocriticism systematically and deeply. Then the ecocriticism theory is simply introduced. The definition, development, the characteristics and the significance of ecocriticism are primarily introduced. Ecocriticism is a literary criticism which aims to explore the relationship between literature and nature. It has over a half century’s development. Its major characteristics are interdisciplinary, transcultural, open and inclusive. Ecocriticism has great significance in at least the following four aspects: providing a new view and method for literary criticism, breaking anthropocentrism and brings new concepts related with ecology, making the ecoliterature flourished, and promoting the environmental protection movement.Part three is the core part of this thesis. The ecological implications contained in A Sand County Almanac are analyzed through close text reading. It includes five parts: man-nature relationship, criticism on human’s thoughts and behavior, ecological holism, land ethic, and the values of wilderness. Leopold believes that human beings are just one part of nature, and they should love and respect nature. Man and nature influence each other. However, human improper thoughts and behavior toward nature lead serious ecological crisis. Leopold mainly criticizes anthropocentrism and industry, science and technology. Leopold suggests people to "think like a mountain", in other words, to view the ecosystem as a whole. He proposes the famous principle of "integrity, stability, and beauty". In the first part of the last chapter in A Sand County Almanac, Leopold puts forward his most famous and significant theory----land ethic, which is a great ethic revolution and lays the foundation of establishing new ecological ethics. In the second part of last chapter in this book, Leopold mainly describes the values of wilderness. He hoped that people could preserve the disappearing wilerness.The last part is the conclusion of the thesis. It is the accomplishment of this thesis.

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