No Man is an Island by John Donne

Intention: The intention of this essay is to demonstrate the idea that every human being is connected to one another, and the idea that when one person suffers, we all suffer with him/her. One memorable quote from this essay is, “…all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter…

The Courage of Turtles by Edward Hoagland

The intention of this piece is to demonstrate Hoagland’s fascination with the unique interactions that occur in nature. He uses his love of turtles to emphasize the interesting relationship between animals and humans, for example the reason people keep animals as pets. Hoagland’s care for creation and the world around him is demonstrated through several short narratives…

The Spider and the Wasp By Alexander Petrunkevitch

The intention of this piece was the describe the interesting relationship between a tarantula and a wasp. Petrunkevitch goes into great detail about the appearance and behavior of the tarantula to try and allow the audience to better understand this fascinating relationship. The tone of this piece remains academic throughout the entire essay. The main…

Jest and Ernest by Annie Dillard

The purpose of this piece is to explore why the maker of our universe created cruelty and beauty. I love the point about God setting “bars and doors” on humanity’s knowledge of the universe. On one hand, we may not be meant to discover the meaning of cruelty and beauty until the after life. On…

And Ain’t I a Woman? By Sojourner Truth

The intention of this piece was to bring to light the hardships African American women faced and still had to deal with. She compares the “hardships” that other groups have felt and to show how different the life of an African American woman is. Throughout the piece Truth repeats the phrase, “Aren’t I a woman?”…

The Trouble with Wilderness by William Cronon

Intention:  Cronon discusses various types of wilderness and people’s interactions and level of appreciation for it. Ethos: Cronon includes excerpts from Wordsworth, Thoreau, Muir, and Stegner, and discusses God and creation to add credibility to his piece.  He mentions Jesus and His struggle with Satan in the wilderness to show the sacred side of wilderness. …