Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Routes of Man, "Forest Primeval to Park Avenue", "Road or Not a Road", "Slipping from Shangri-La", and "Road Ecology" Main Point and Rhetorical Modes

     In "Forest Primeval to Park Avenue", "Road or Not a Road", "Slipping from Shangri-La", and "Road Ecology", the first four sections of novel The Routes of Man, Ted Conover argues economic success, development, and production in an area cannot occur without destruction of other aspects in society and the environment. Economic and social advancement (building of efficient roads) leaves an area vulnerable to modernistic views and open for loss; loss of culture, tradition, religion, environmental habitats and resources, and animal species.

Rhetorical Modes Used to Develop Analysis:

 Conover includes text in which defines roads. This helps make the distinction between roads used for advancement and efficiency, and roads built for cultural and traditional values.

"Now that we're pretty sure they're not, he wishes people would stop copying the old maps and also, really stop calling them roads because  'roads are utilitarian, and these were not. It'd be better to just call them pathways.'"(Pg 69-70)

Conover writes about a sloth in "Forest Primeval to Park Avenue". The sloth is an example of an animal species that may have trouble surviving if roads are built.

"...perezoso might still make its way across the river, I didn't think it could make it across that road." (Pg 65)

Another example demonstrates the destruction of natural habitats (the Rain Forest) that must take place in order to produce a product of economic value (mahogany).

" 'In a less developed country, you need to produce something the world really wants, and what the world really wants now is mahogany.'" (Pg 46)

Zanskar is an example of an area being exposed to "modernistic views", resulting in loss of many cultural and traditional values. 

"...you didn't have to be terribly worldly to appreciate that the cost of a new road might be considerable in terms of lost serenity, lost culture, lost paradise." (Pg 82)

Description is used to describe that places with little development have large amounts of natural resources and animals.

"...most of them small, dark rooms on stilts. There were plenty of colorful lizards around, an abundance of birds attracted to fruit..." (Pg 39)

Through a simile, readers can visualize the harsh reality of animals being harmed by roads.

"...Mr. Toad, foolish Mr. Toad, Mr. Toad who (I should have remembered) had a thing for warm blacktop... flat as a pancake." (Pg 117)

Cause: People want to live in a more modern, advanced life style.
Effect: They create roads to support economic success.

Cause: People create roads.
Effects: Loss of animals and natural environments. Allows new people and ideas to enter area, resulting loss of culture, religion, and tradition. 

Conover argues there cannot be economic success and development without loss.

"But when humans strive, we also eer, and it is hard to build without destroying." (Pg 3)

Conover observes the similarities and differences between Brazil's thriving economic status, and Peru's deflating status.

"And in exploiting its rain forest, Brazil is far ahead, a major global producer of soybeans and beef, most of it raised on lands from which the rain forest has been burned off." (Pg 42)

Conover tells of his travels down different roads.

Conover classifies roads and paths as two separate things.