Nature and Procreation in Blue Highways

Nature and Procreation in Blue Highways
In the book of a rustic American journey, Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon continually characterizes the land he travels with simple, natural references. Least Heat Moon repeatedly gives the nature he discovers on his journey very fertile, prolific qualities. The essays often contains vivid physical descriptions of the environment, particularly its natural beauty. Least Heat Moon ponders human existence and its interference with the environment. The themes of natural beauty and fertility repeatedly surface throughout Least Heat Moon?s account of his journey around America.
In several descriptions of nature throughout the book, William Least Heat Moon portrays the wilderness he finds with extremely basic, reproductive traits. The themes of procreation and fertility in the natural environment surround him. For example, in his description of a swamp environment, Least Heat Moon writes,

In the muck pollywogs were starting to squirm. It was spring here, and juices were getting up in the stalks?water bubbled with the froth of sperm and ova, and the whole bog lay rank and eggy, vaporous and thick with the scent of procreation. Things once squeezed close, pinched shut, things waiting to become something else, something greater, were about ready(105).

Least Heat Moon makes the reproductive traits of this scene obviously visible and apparent. He describes the environment as being on the verge of the production of a new generation of primitive life forms and simple wilderness. Least Heat Moon often portrays the landscapes he locates with such fecund features as a fundamental part of nature.

In addition to these portrayals of nature and its rich possibilities, Least Heat Moon frequently depicts the environments against the presence of man and technology within the ecosystem. For instance, when describing a volcanic environment encountered on his trip, Least Heat Moon states,

Fifty miles away rose the ancient volcano like those that puffed out the first atmosphere, and under me lay the volcanic basalt ridge the old river had cut through?South lay the Oregon Trail under four lanes of concrete marked off by the yellow running lights of the transports; south, too, were glinting rails of the Union Pacific. (240-241)

The author does not use elaborate figurative language or any other literary device to describe the observation. Instead, he simply states how man has interfered with the beauty and the purity of the land. Author John Updike comments, "Heat Moon is humbled by the desert?s bleak beauty and power and by the resonance of history along the northeast coast" (225). Least Heat Moon?s passage lacks any emotion in describing the assault of the scene?s natural beauty. In addition, Least Heat Moon often describes the Native Americans? ability to use the land without ruining its original beauty. He repeatedly makes references to the ways the Native Americans have influenced the land and its history. For instance, Least Heat Moon observes, "At Ofahama, I drove onto the Natchez Trace Parkway, a two-lane running from Natchez to near Nashville, which follows a five-hundred-mile trail first opened by buffalo and Indians. Chickasaws called it the ?Path of Peace?" (104). William Least Heat Moon repeatedly depicts the surroundings he encounters on his journey simple, natural ways.

Throughout the book, William Least Heat Moon paints nature in terms of its fertile and portentous possibilities. Throughout Least Heat Moon?s travels, Blue Highways reflects Least Heat Moon?s sensitivity to the beauty of nature.

Nature and Procreation in Blue Highways 7.7 of 10 on the basis of 1574 Review.