War and nature are two themes that have so much in common. Mankind is always on a mission to exploit the environment for new possibilities, make life easier and bearable.
Archeologists for instance channel a lot of efforts, time and resources exploiting and studying artifacts. Being exploitative by nature, man also puts much effort in exploiting oil wells and other forms of energy and use different means to transport to the areas where it is needed. The exploitation has had several negative effects on the environment and despite this, energy demands keep increasing and hence the need to do more exploitation. Exhaust fumes from tracks, factories as well as other poisonous substances pose a serious threat to the environment. The exploitation seems to pose a threat to archeological research as well (Johnson 1-4). A very small percentage of nature has been exploited and studied archeologically and this includes the forests and the landscape, yet exploitation for energy is destroying them. Population grown has also contributed to the destruction of the natural environment.
Energy companies have been known to build roads that lead to the mining fields while people use the roads to explore and exploit the environment as they use off-road vehicles. What used to be remote is no longer remote and the environment is being overexploited and to the level where the future generations may have nothing to depend on. This is in accordance with a New York Times article on the Western energy boom that was published on 2nd August, 2008. There are other places which have recreational facilities, cultural resources as well as energy development firms all at the same place hence causing a great conflict. There is a great need for the coexistence of energy and history instead of energy exploitation leading to the destruction of archeological sites. Exploitation has to be done in a responsible way to ensure that nature is preserved. The exploitation must therefore be policed be it by volunteers or the government.
More research on archeological sites and their importance has to be enhanced and methods that are friendly to nature be employed in exploration. People have continually been exploiting the natural resources, for instance through fishing. The indigenous species are continually being depleted with minimal or no restriction at all.
Elizabeth Bishop in her poem, ‘The fish’ notes; “He didn’t fight.He hadn’t fought at all (Bishop 200).” This is in reference to the fact that man meets little resistance while exploiting the environment to his benefit, yet distorting the balance in nature. Nature and man seem to always be at war, with man always taking advantage of nature and overexploiting it and nature reacts by hauling the side effects of overexploitation back to him. Given the fact that mans desire to explore and exploit never seize, he goes to the level of overexploiting nature and leaves the environment desolate with no ancient and attractive sites hence causing people to long for it yet they cannot get it. With the continued industrialization, the emergence of factories, mines as well as railroads, all of most of which use coal, environmental pollution has been on the rise both in the cities as well as the countries hence making nature to lose its beauty (Wordsworth 22).
The persona in the poem, ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree,’ yarns to go and experience nature in its ideal and uninterrupted form. For instance he says, “And evening full of the linnet’s wings,” which is a symbol of the natural environment. (Yeats 44). Another significant aspect in man’s life is war. Since time immemorial man has always been at war. Humans have always tried to outdo each other by waging war against the rivals, hence spreading havoc and distraction against the enemy as well as killing.
The aim of war is to silence the foe and claim victory hence granting freedom to the coming generations. Most of the time what is left of war is the memories of the past. At the time of war, people undergo so much difficulty, loosing valuable, hurting and even dying in the process yet others keep the fight. At war time, pleasure is derived from the anguish and agony that is directed to the enemy as stated in Wilfred Owen’s poem (Owen 2). Although those who win encounter losses as well, as evident in the poem, Concord Hymn, “The foe long since in silence slept; Alike the conqueror silent sleeps (Emerson 43)” War is fought and people killed just because they belong to the camp of the foes. In real sense, had those who were killing each other met in an inn, they would have perceived each other in a different way.
There is usually no substantial justification for killings occur during war time. People kill others yet had they met at a bar they would have treated each other, or helped each other under different circumstances. The poet in the poem, ‘The Man He Killed,’ notes; “You shoot a fellow downYou’d treat, if met where any bar (Hardy 130).” People get to war just for the sake of fighting at times with no established reason or no justification for it. They march into the valley of death to kill and be killed.
They go in multitudes and with sophisticated weapons. War never seems to surprise people, and no care is given as to whether a mistake was made are whether a reason is given for the war to take place. All that the soldiers care about is to kill and get killed. Weapons are arranged in every side and fired causing destruction and death and those who return from the battlefield are usually fewer than those who went. Those who fight well escape death as their colleagues are killed (Tennyson 100).
All that is gained is the glory and the memories of how they fought bravely. War and nature are in a way related. War has adverse effects on nature.
The shelling, bombing, fumes and fires that emanate from war not only cause death but also leads to the destruction of the natural environment. They leave the battle field desolate and in some cases the effects are over a wider area. Man has always taken part in the destruction of the natural environment as well as in engineering war which causes a lot of havoc to the environment. In both cases, the destructive nature of man is manifest.
“The Fish.” Poetry Connection (1939): 200. Emerson, Ralph Waldo. “Concord Hymn.” Yale Book of American verse (1836): 43. Hardy, Thomas.
“The Man He Killed.” Mordern British Poetry (1920): 130. Johnson, Kirk.
“Energy Boom in West Threatens Indian Artifacts.” NewYork Times (2008): 1-4. Owen, Wilfred. “Dulce Et Decorum Est.” The Trench Destroyer (1917). Tennyson, Alfred. “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” Poetry Archive (1843): 100.
Wordsworth, William. “Sonnet.” Miscellaneous Sonnets (1850): 22. Yeats, Willium Butler.
“Lake Isle of Innerfree.” Modern British Poetry (1865): 44.