Date of Award

3-1-2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS)

Department

Liberal Studies

First Reader

Brian Black

Second Reader

Sandra Welter

Abstract

Roderick Nash, in his book Wilderness and the American Mind, argues that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, "Too much civilization, not too little, seemed at the root of the nation's difficulties." With economic stability decreasing, social ties eroding, and young "up and comers" committing suicide, Robert Frost's approach to nature as a powerful, unforgiving yet playful, therapeutic force seems nothing short of realistic. For Frost, following historical patterns for development of cities and "idle hours" in the fields will only lead to increased divisions in labor and social class. Like the goals of wilderness experience programs such as Outward Bound and Boy Scouts of America, Frost's themes illustrate a need for clear understanding and appreciation of our work and reliance on our own imagination to bring people and wilderness together.

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