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Harmful Influence of Human on Nature Essay

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Updated: Jul 28th, 2022

Dystopian societies are often the subject of study in the works of many science fiction writers because, through the texts, the authors can explore more deeply potential scenarios for the development of the world and how human actions can harm everything around them. Works of this genre, as a rule, are characterized by hyperbolization of reality, in which the current trends of the present are transformed into absolute and sinister forces of the future. Moreover, any changes in ecosystems under the law of dystopia are usually initiated by the harmful influence of humanity on the environment. In addition, there are other kinds of literature that support the opinion about harmful influence of mankind on the environment. In other words, it is men who is responsible for the deterioration of life on Earth, which is expressed in the literature in the strengthening of control over neighboring biological species. This essay aims to justify the above thesis about the harmful influence of human on nature through a discussion of three texts read in the framework of an academic course.

The first work that supports the idea of the harmful influence of human on the surrounding species is Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. In the novel, the author describes the distant future of the United States of America, in which a strict totalitarian regime is established. The power belongs to large financial corporations engaged in genetic experiments on animals and people. They destroy nature for the sake of huge profits and distribute food and medicines that are harmful to people. In such a society, pills are created that cause sterilization, genetically modified animals; pigs are raised for organs, and chickens without beaks and brains. Atwood (2017) writes that “the organs could be customized, using cells from individual human donors, and the organs were frozen until needed” (p. 3). The future presented in the novel is also characterized by the destruction of books and art in general. All this is the terrible result of human actions. Through dystopian stories, the author shows his idea of what decisions made in modern society can lead to. The influence of humans on animals at the moment, despite the presence of various environmental movements, is mainly negative. Animals are exterminated, used for food, and skins and bones are used to create clothing and homes. Many representatives of the fauna disappeared from the face of the planet, becoming victims of humans. When writing dystopian novels, despite their exaggeration, the author’s primary goal is to show what can happen if they adhere to such a policy of action. Therefore, the main task of the dystopian work is to identify problems from social life and draw attention to them.

The second book on the subject of the relationship between humankind and nature is The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert. The book is mainly devoted to the issues of global climate change, flora and fauna of the Earth, as well as the direct impact of humans on this. In modern society, technological progress is developing very rapidly. Kolbert writes that “no creature has ever altered life on the planet in this way before” (p. 9). Humans live in almost perfect conditions for our species: we have all the necessary things. However, our comfortable existence has its price: the development of society mercilessly and unreasonably exploits the planet, animal, and plant species. In the work, Kolbert cites several proofs to prove that humanity is on the verge of total extinction, mentioning the harmful influence on increasingly fragmented Amazon rainforest, on a fast-warming slope in the Andes and the outer reaches of the Great Barrier Reef. According to the author, people themselves bear the blame for creating such a situation. Human domination of the planet has given rise to an increase in the number of endangered and extinct species of flora and fauna, and species are dying out much faster than the natural background rates of extinction. The Earth’s temperature rises, the amount of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere increases, all of which leads to the destruction of entire ecosystems and the acidification of the oceans (Kolbert, 2014). The book also provides a description of previous mass extinction events and a comparison of them with the extinctions in modern society.

One of the books that can help humanity realize the consequences of their choices is Henry David Thoreau’s work Walden: Where I Lived and What I Lived For. When reading it, readers are given the opportunity to realize that they have built everything around themselves; they have chosen this way of life themselves and suffer from their unreasonableness. The book tells how the author decided to leave the noisy society and civilization and lived in a hut in the forest for more than two years, independently providing himself with everything necessary for existence. Thoreau (2019) observes that “any man, will go considerably out of his way to pick up a silver dollar; but here are golden words, which the wisest men of antiquity have uttered, and whose worth the wise of every succeeding age have assured us of” (p. 82). The author talks about how people have wrong values in life because they treasure materialistic things and makes an attempt to raise people’s confidence that everyone can change their lives. However, this can happen as soon as the human mind is strong enough to overcome the passions and fears of modernity. Thoreau’s works are devoted to anti-capitalist and utopian ideas. Walden: Where I Lived, and What I Lived For seems to protest against the brutality of bourgeois industrial progress and the social disasters that accompanied it. According to the author, the life of his contemporaries is the life of madmen who do not know how to distinguish good from bad and disastrous from useful (Thoreau, 2019). Thoreau thinks that evil can still be corrected if society voluntarily renounces the unnecessary worries with which it burdens itself. First of all, people should give themselves a strict account of what they need and superfluous.

The analysis of the three works mentioned earlier showed that humanity has a detrimental effect on its environment. People are an integral and essential part of the nature around them. It gives them food, air, water, fills them with life-giving power, provides everything necessary for a comfortable life. Its oppression and destruction can lead to the immediate destruction of humans as a species. Dystopia can be one of the effective ways to show people the consequences of their actions. In each dystopia, readers can find a node of contradictions that it draws attention to and that it tries to resolve. The authors f examined literary works try to convey to readers how important it is to take care of nature and give a complete and reasonable account of their actions. It should be noted that humanity has such a strong influence on the planet that even the future looks pretty uncertain. Only time will tell whether the human species will be able to adapt to the new conditions or not.


Atwood, M. (2017). Oryx and Crake. Piper Verlag GmbH.

Kolbert, E. (2014). The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Picador.

Thoreau, H. D. (2019). Walden: Modern English Translation. Independently Published.

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