Nature and Chasing Redbird provide poignant examples of the restorative power found in the natural world, and a thorough analysis of the works and lives of the authors reveal past trauma created the need for this restoration. Traumatic experiences shape an individual’s thought processes, as each decision the individual makes is based upon fearing an uncertain outcome. Throughout Nature, Emerson references a child’s innocence, demonstrating that a child’s perspective has not yet been tainted by experience. Emerson idealizes his past childhood as he endured grievances that motivated him to confront his trauma while in nature himself. An example for Emerson’s claims is Zinny Taylor, Creech’s young adolescent protagonist. Zinny’s experiences demonstrate many of Emerson’s idealized expectations of how a child can move from trauma to individual freedom after becoming intimately connected with nature. These two works ultimately emphasize that there is a cost for individual freedom, a cost that nature is able to pay.
Hershberger, McKenzie, "The Effects of Trauma on Identity Formation: Pursuing and Obtaining Individual Freedom in Emerson’s Nature and Creech’s Chasing Redbird" (2022). English Senior Capstone. 20.