Socialized Ideologies, Literary Gardens, and Resultative Environmentalism



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Gardens serve as windows into a society’s ideological values. Architectural design within gardens and the cultural identity displayed through a gardener’s preferences are a testament to the unique cultures and values of individual societies and their resultative influence through the perceptive eye of global onlookers. Philosopher Terry Eagleton defines the guiding principle of the ideological subconscious and a person’s perception and presumptions of cross-cultural practices; “Ideology is an organizing social force which actively constitutes human subjects at the roots of their lived experience and seeks to equip them with forms of value and belief relevant to their specific social tasks and to the general reproduction of the social order,” (R&R 785). Comprehending the difference between subconscious translation and resultative appreciation is crucial; cross cultural influence is marred by the unreliability of biased viewership. In this essay, I explore the environmental and ecological ideologies as proposed in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century garden literature from both China and England. In doing this, I will note each culture’s choice of horticulture, and document the disadvantage that accompanies an absence of cross-cultural respect and influence on both the conscious and subconscious level. Paradise Lost by John Milton, and Cao Xueqin’s, Dream of Red Chamber, artistically and respectively depict widespread ideological mentalities for the earth and the natural world within the era and location of their publication. The anthropocentric industrialism of modernity will continue to be a poison to the human race and other terrestrial species who are unable to adapt to the unpredictable disasters of climate change. An assessment of historical environmentalism and ideology will pave way for a shift of valuation in the perception of cross-cultural practices. Embracing symbiosis as proposed by other cultures, despite ideological differences, will benefit all. People, in the wake of global warming, must be willing to contribute and adopt new practices of ecological sustainability as initiated by an unapologetically, world-wide sense of environmental collectivism. Horticultural literature from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries details beautiful representations of the symbiosis between people and the planet; reading such literature also encourages readers of modernity to determine whether the cultural ideologies of the present are bound in archaic mentalities of historical religiosity and social order. Tradition is important, but evolution is necessary; revolutionary environmentalism is the only solution to looming omnicide.



Agronomic, Anthropocentric, Biophilia, Ecocentric, Historiographical, Horticultural, Ideological, Interpellation, Omnicide, Pleasure Ground