The world is changing. Part of this change is the people who by nature are innovative, knowledge-seeking creatures. These people destroy the Mother Earth, and they shape the world whatever they wanted. They call it landscape by art. However, whatever they think that they beautify the world as they want to, still they ruin the world that for them they will never understand. At this point, eco-criticism comes in.
What is ecocriticism? As it is defined, ecocriticism is a study of the relationship of the two concepts – literature and environment. It comes out as study of the literature depicting an environment as it is shown in the literary pieces such as poems or short stories. The subject “environment” is being embedded as the natural ingredient in the poem or short story study. The enclosure of this subject is very relevant because it calls for answers on the problem regarding environmental issues. Especially this time when global warming is quite a common issue, the reading text of literature with environment subject is best read with critical analysis. Why do people have to consider this issue found in the text? The answer is simple. People have to get involved with issues around them.
Ecocriticism must be included in the critical reading approaches. Poetry contents are best presented since poetry deals with images and symbols. Much more so, poetry also usually has the common theme with nature. Perhaps, nature is the best source for colorful descriptions about the world in general. It is also in nature that represents life. In other words, nature is life. It portrays life as a delicate form that needs nurture and care. It is like the human beings who by nature need to cared for and who deserve love and nurture.
The emergence of ecocriticism may result to the alarming environmental issues in the world. People really wait for any literary responses that reflect environmental realities. What happens why morning news of the world says global warming is alarming? Maybe, at some point, people have to realize the importance of ecology-criticism as a tool for better understanding of the world and the environment problems. That is why this study is pushed forward.
The use of poem reveals beautiful imagery as best tool for ecocriticism. For example, the poem by Hilda Doolittle entitled “Oread,” connotes simplicity of nature with relevance to a beautiful mountain nymph. In the depiction of the poem, it is found out that the mountain is not landscaped with bare and terrorist hands:
Whirl up, sea—
Whirl your pointed pines,
Splash your great pines
On our rocks,
Hurl your green over us,
Cover us with your pools of fir.
This poem adds the virginity of nature as it has never been touched nor it has never been damaged through times in any artificial destruction. Perhaps, the world is changing. However, the change must not be damaging to humanity and nature. If people always harm the nature itself, it is as if they harm themselves.
At this point, eco-criticism comes in the very sense. As it is the study of literature that connects to the environment, the people who adopt this concept may be called the “literary environmentalists.” They are the proponents and the defense forces of nature, and they must be supported by all means. As a result, ecocriticism must be given much consideration in the academe since it cultivates love of nature and of humanity.
Doolittle, H., 1983. Collected Poems, 1912-1944. Ed. Louis L. Martz. New York: New Directions.
Gorn, H., 2013. Ecocriticism: The Intersection of Literature and the Environment. The Vegetarian Resource Group. [Online] Available at: < http://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2011issue2/2011_issue2_ecocrit.php>.
Glotfelty, C. and Fromm, H, 1996. The Ecocriticism Reader: Landmarks in Literary Ecology. Athens: University of Georgia.
Maughan, C., 2011. Ecocriticism. In Timothy Clarks’ The Cambridge Introduction to Literature and the Environment. [Online] Available at: < http://www.oxonianreview.org/wp/ecocriticism/> [30 March 2013].
UC Santa Barbara's English Department. About Literature and the Environment. [Online]. Available at: