as if “Nature were holding her breath”

Muir became a leader of the transcendentalist writing movement alongside Thoreau and Whitman, but in a very different manner. Muir’s work lays in contrast to other authors because he views journeying out into nature as a more simple, wonderous action. Instead of insisting all abandonment to humanity such as Thoreau does, Muir writes with a childlike enchantment to the wild around him,  such as “I was fond of everything wild and all my life I’ve been growing fonder and fonder of wild places and wild creatures”. Muir characterizes the rocks as talkative and alive, personifying the water and wind. He contrasts with previous authors because he succeeds in sparking the human heart to want to venture out into nature, whereas Thoreau’s nature becomes almost too overwhelming to walk into.

Muir personifies the smallest and largest bits of the earth that others previously had skipped over. He wrote once that the surrounding atmosphere was almost as if  “nature were holding her breath”; emphasizing the connection and sensuality Muir not only felt towards the earth but also what he wrote. 

Muir was known as “the father of the national parks” and really believed in describing these wild places in an almost sensual way, persuading readers to venture out into the wilderness.

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