What Are Some Literary Examples of Mother Nature?


Quick Answer

Characters who represent Mother Nature in literature include Yavanna in J. R. R. Tolkien's novel, "The Silmarillion," Mother Nature in William Joyce's "The Guardians of Childhood" book series and the title character in Thornton W. Burgess's "Old Mother West Wind."

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Both Old Mother West Wind and Old Dame Nature personify nature in the children's books by Burgess, as the former creates and controls wind, while the latter commands the animals. Tolkien's character Yavanna is a woman in green clothing who sows the seeds of all the plants in the world. In Western mythology, the goddess Demeter and her daughter, Persephone, symbolize nature because they determine the passing of the seasons. In Lord Byron's "Childe Harold" and in many of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's poems, they describe nature as a woman or mother named Nature.

People have historically portrayed nature as a female in philosophy and the arts because both nature and women in stereotypes are beautiful, simple and conquerable by men. Both women and nature bring forth living things.

Although Poison Ivy, a character in the "Batman" graphic novels, is human and lacks many of the stereotypical qualities, she can control plants, usually wears green and believes she is the incarnation of Mother Nature.

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