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In Against Nature, Joyce Carol Oates conveys the idealistic views of American Dark Romanticism. Joyce goes against other authors views on romanticism through nature. In her essay, she shares the negatives of nature, stating that “the Earth seems to shift forward a presence; hard empathetic, not mere surface but genuine force.” This example provides her truth on how life is not perfect. In reality, the earth will accomplish what it needs in order to maintain itself, and disregards anything in its way. Joyce is able to relay her message through her essay that nature may be pretty, but the truth lies deeper. As an advocate for Dark Romanticism and a firm believer that death is part of the cycle of life, I agree with Joyce’s statement about being against nature. Joyce approaches life understanding the truth and its logic. An analogy that would better understand Joyce’s reasoning would be that the outer part of the forest is the lies while deeper into the forest is the truth. From the outside, the forest looks beautiful and seems like a perfect world where animals roam and plants grow abundantly. The deeper one enters the forest, the harsher reality becomes. As one ventures deeper into the forest, he or she would begin to realize that animals are fighting to survive. People fail to understand that the the truth is inevitable just like death. This idea also connects to the novel, The Scarlet Letter. As an adultress and a mother, Hester tries to free herself from the label given to her due to her mistakes. However, society persists that she keeps that label on her because it is what the people see her as. Even Pearl fails to see her own mother when Hester removes the scarlet A. No matter how hard one tries to hide the truth, it will always present itself. Joyce’s influential writing has definitely made an impact towards my outlook on life. Through her structure of writing and literary criticism carefully weaved into her essay, it made me realize and understand why she was against nature, and why she criticized their views. As a reader, it extended my logical reasoning of life and make wiser decisions. Her criticism of nature having “no sense of humor in its beauty, as in its ugliness,” conveys that the truth will always be waiting at the end. Transcendentalists views are less realistic as it is assumed that life is perfect, saying that there is innocence in nature. Nature is not innocent as everyone believes it to be. People must not forget that in order for nature to exist, there is an ecosystem in which animals are placed in a food chain. Truth is, everything will die whether it be now or later. That is something that Joyce is able to portray in her essay fluidly. However in American society, people tend to favor transcendentalist views because they would rather hear happy lies rather than heart wrenching truths.

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