Finding Utopia

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade August 2001

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Searching for Utopia There is a quest. This quest is derived from the minds of two separate authors, but is joined by a common purpose and outcome in their respective works. The authors each show a character that, by diving through the deep seas of the natural unknown, seeks to discover or re-discover a feeling. These authors tell of a search for inner-flowing happiness and freedom, which they infer as only being available through the conscious awareness, enjoyment and pursuit of nature and wilderness. This is a "search" for and not a "discovery" because Jim in My Antonia and Thoreau in his essay Walking return to nature repeatedly in an effort to experience the illusive happiness and freedom which they remember from their past.

In Cather's novel, Jim's quest for happiness begins and ends in the wilderness. His experience is explained as a "feeling of lightness and content" when he is left alone in his grandmother's garden.

(Cather 11) Jim feels such great peace and happiness in the garden that he does not believe there could be much more to living than the bliss that he is extracting from his natural surroundings. Jim thought to himself that he wanted to ""¦walk straight on through the red grass and over the edge of the world"¦" as he continues, he insists to himself that the edge of the world ""¦could not be very far"¦" because his feeling of natural happiness could not possibly be surpassed at any time, by any situation in the future. (Cather 10) Jim felt an inclusion with all the objects of nature as he states that he was "something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I did not want to be anything more." (Cather 11) Jim was experiencing his personal utopia. His...