1

. He tried to shape in his mind what he had to say to McDonald. It was a feeling; it was an urge that he had to speak. But whatever he spoke he knew would be but another name for the wildness that he sought. It was a freedom and a goodness, a hope and a vigor that he perceived to underlie all the familiar things of his life, which were not free or good or hopeful or vigorous. What he sought was the source and preserver of his world, a world which seemed to turn ever in fear away from its source, rather than search it out, as the prairie grass around him sent down its fibered roots into the rich dark dampness, the Wildness, and thereby renewed itself, year after year.

6
  • 2
    Hello So Gh, This is not a question of English Learning. It may be a question of Literature interpretation. Wilderness doesn't mean "the essence that we are born with". Perhaps this is an interpretation of what message the author was giving. But that is beyond the scope of this stack exchange.
    – James K
    Feb 26, 2022 at 22:23
  • You also haven't told us the source of the text, and why you think the usual dictionary definition of "wilderness" isn't applicable here.
    – James K
    Feb 26, 2022 at 22:24
  • The migration to this stack was a mistake by the Mods on English Language & Usage
    – James K
    Feb 26, 2022 at 22:25
  • 1
    @JamesK hello james k, at first thank you for replying. I asked this at English Language & Usage but it was migrated here and I don't know why this happend . However I agree with you , this question is related to literature interpretation but I must add this the word I asked about is the " wildness" not " wilderness" that means " an uncultivated, uninhabited, and inhospitable region" .the source of the text is a novel by john williams called Butcher's Crossing.
    – So Gh
    Feb 26, 2022 at 23:13
  • 2
    @SoGh Do you have a source text that you can share with us to show exactly where this is? But also, the text itself is defining for you what “wildness” represents, so I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking about. Feb 27, 2022 at 1:20

1 Answer 1

1

Given my relatively limited context, it seems to me that “wildness” is being used to describe an indescribable feeling, so to speak. The text says that wildness is a sense of freedom or of energy and vigor. In other words, positive force. In the context that you have provided for the novel, it seems that the boy is trying to say that he left home in order to seek this force, which he perceived as underlying all the things in his life. So there is no proper “dictionary definition” for how it’s being used in this text. You just have to gain a general understanding of what this character is referring to.

The passage that you written out is rather abstract to begin with. The main character of this passage is saying that while wildness is kind of a positive/energetic force, it underlies aspects of his life that are anything but. He’s saying that wildness sustains his world, but the things in his world reject and fear wildness, and this character wants to actively seek it out instead.

3
  • Thank you so much for the explanation.wildness has a negative meaning generally but here as you explain it has a positive meaning.if i have understood it right.
    – So Gh
    Feb 28, 2022 at 10:18
  • I think the best way to see its connotation is as neutral. “Wildness” is supposed to be kind of mysterious, so given what I know from this text, it seems more appropriate to keep it neutral. Mar 1, 2022 at 1:20
  • @ Annabeth Yeung Many thanks
    – So Gh
    Mar 1, 2022 at 23:20

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .