Analysis Of Richard Louv’s Critical Tone In The Last Child In The Woods

In the passage from “Last Child in the Woods”, Richard Louv uses devices such as imagery, facts, and rhetorical questions to convey his critical tone, which turns to nostalgia, towards the connection of people to the environment around them. Louv observes that the connection between people and nature is diminishing as people choose technology more and more over natural occurrences.

Louv’s uses imagery to shift the passage from a critical tone to a nostalgic tone that Louv has towards the breaking connection of people to nature. Reminiscing about his childhood, Louv describes that “we used our fingers to draw pictures on fogged glass as we watched telephone poles tick by. We saw birds on the wires and combines in the fields”. In a time where there was no technology, Louv, and many people his age, found ways to entertained themselves by using the outside world. By using his own experiences, it emphasizing how the world has changed with the introduction of technology has affected the distance between nature and people. This contrasts illustatre with the images of “the children can watch Sesame Street or play Grand Theft Auto on their Playstations without bothering the driver”. Not only are the kids detached from nature they are detached from their parents. These two images are the past and present of riding in cars. Louv remembers a simpler time, where they simply “counted cows and horses and coyotes”. He was able to admire the nature around him, due to his freeness from the unavailability of technology to distract him. His memories are able to shift his, before critical tone, to a nostalgic tone.

Louv uses facts to criticize how the connection of nature and people is very distant in the present day. Louv does not use his own opinions to show the disconnection between nature and people, he uses facts. Advertisers thought about using butterflies as moving advertisements and think that “sponsorship-wise, it’s time for nature to carry its weight” Louv goes on the write that “the logical extension of synthetic nature is the irrelevance of ‘true’ nature”. The intention to connecting to nature is there but it is for the wrong purposes. These advertiser want to use the nature to their own advantage instead of admiring the beauty that nature beholds. That admiration had happened looking out the window “but now that visual connection is optional”. People have the option whether to look at a technological device or to observe nature, the latter being less likely the choice. Louv criticizes that technology is breaking the bond between people and the natural world.

Using ironic rhetorical questions to emphasize the hypocritical actions people have when it comes to technology versus nature. Louv questions “why do so many Americans say they want their children to watch less TV, yet continue to expand the opportunities for them to watch it?”. This question brings to light the hypocritical attitude parents have for technology: they have the power to stop increasing technology in their children’s lives but they do not act. Louv implies, when options of devices and nature are presented to them, that the choice of technology is the more occurring event. Also asking “why do so many people no longer consider the physical world worth watching?” as a thought question to provoke a sense of reevaluation within people. People ignore the tangible world for that of a distant connection through an inanimate object.

Richard Louv creates his tone of criticizing towards the people in the world around him and then shifts it to nostalgia with his use of imagery, rhetorical questions, and facts. His nostalgia takes him to a place where technology was little and nature was great.

16 December 2021
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