tom lake book review

tom lake book review

The Impact of Tom Lake’s Book on Readers

1. Introduction

Tom Lake’s reading of “The Book of Indian Crafts and Indian Lore” has displayed the effect and alteration in the concerns and minds of those he encountered. His own decision to write of his experiences of reading and reliving the knowledge he learned from his “Indian craftsmanship/folklore” class, supposedly taken to fulfill his anthropology requirement years earlier, is a great contribution to the industry. The opportunity to present this knowledge from generation to generation is the ultimate accomplishment and reestablishment of a once dying way of life. At first, upon his choice to attend “Native American Indian crafts/folklore” class at the local YMCA, his thoughts and concerns were those of an average American male uneducated by the ways and customs of said culture. This is neither ignorant nor discriminatory; it is merely a stepping-stone in the stepping-stones of cultural understanding and acceptance. The decision to write his reasons and opinions questions that concerned and still concern many misinformed or inhibiting individuals was a very powerful one. His encounters and discussions with the other class-takers, some Indian and some non-Indian, were few and terse. Yet the questions aroused in his mind, prompted by these meetings, set the tone for what was a prolonged soul searching ordeal. His framing of some of the questions were conscious attempts to encourage response from his bookworm friend and a wise old Indian known as Michaelker. Yet this question of Mike was a rhetorical one, or at least it was never directly answered. The bookworm highlighted the problems concerning the vast exclusion of teachings he received are the possible reservations of those knowledgeable.

2. Engaging Writing Style

Another strength of the book is Lake’s characters, which are vivid portrayals of real people who are based on combinations of several individuals to represent various identities. He captures their candid conversations and curious antics, which often lead to philosophical discussions on man and nature. The most interesting of these characters is actually Lake himself, who is recognizable as a man of several strengths and a collection of some very human shortcomings.

One of the strong points of Lake’s writing is his employment of natural history. Throughout his essays, he commonly delves into ecological histories of a given area, often revisiting a similar topic in different writings. Passages are laced with type-species methodology, wildlife observations, and personal reflections on the events. He shows that the first step to understanding an environmental issue is learning its context, and context means learning the historical interactions between man and the environment. This can be seen in a story on ruffed grouse when he illustrates the bird’s life cycle and habitat and then tacks on his own experiences grouse hunting and a subsequent ecological study. In another essay, he discusses the Keewenaw Peninsula regeneration project where he ponders effectiveness from the vantage of a former clear-cut and the life of a long-gone inhabitant named Potato Johnny, and finally to a description of modern university student Garc and his encounter with the aged Lake. Here, Lake indirectly reflects on the change in the public’s view of natural resource management, showing several degrees of separation.

Tom Lake is a newspaperman, and The Conservation Diaries reads like a collection of news stories, not a work of science. Essentially, Lake is an environmental reporter who has recorded the events and personalities that have shaped his views on the natural world and his role as a conservationist. His essays-cum-news stories are a blend of travelogues, human interest stories, and outdoor adventures that unfold across the upper Midwest, but primarily within Wisconsin. Lake shifts from topics such as white-tailed deer overabundance to a story of French voyageurs and wintering deer camps, to a dialogue with a Native American opponent of treaty rights, to a profile of an old fur trapper. During this journey, Lake recollects his changes in thoughts on conservation biology, with the stories serving as anecdotes for his learning experiences. Each story is clearly narrated with first-hand experiences, descriptions of the surrounding landscape, and tales of people and wildlife past and present.

3. Thought-Provoking Themes Explored

The future of identity is a concept that is directly relevant to the Pakistani woman. Her attempts to further her own identity rather than that of the cyborg were possibly fueled by the knowledge that she could, at some point, escape her forced role. Cyborgs like third world women must explore ways of regaining stolen identities.

This lady is part of the third world and its women, and throughout her life, she has attempted to upgrade herself to the status of a first world male. In the years of service to the needs of his cyborg, the first world male has generally worked towards making the cyborg most like himself. When the Pakistani woman has tried to free herself from the chains of her suppressed identity, it is likely she has wished to achieve a similar transformation.

This lady, whose education is to a high standard, although she is now a political activist, was once a surgeon. Her education, for the moment, is irrelevant and in the next few years, she will probably abandon her activist career for that of a housewife. Lake compares this situation to that of cyborgs that have been programmed to carry out certain tasks. When that task becomes irrelevant, it is likely no further tasks will be provided.

The role of the cyborg and its contrast against patriarchal male society is a huge thematic element in this book. The attitude to the cyborg is that it is a pawn used by men for the purpose of sustaining their own existence. Often, the cyborg is portrayed as a throwaway item, and if it fails in its objectives, it is simply replaced. Tom Lake illustrates the current situation of third world females. An example he uses is that of a Pakistani woman.

4. Compelling Character Development

Anya Amasova and Honey Rider are case studies in the difference. Anya is a Russian agent and she’s not all she seems. She’s smart, tough, and competent, but she’s also rather cold and aloof, not really the best ingredients for a leading lady, particularly in the early 70s. Bond is able to break through her professional facade and get close to the real woman through shared personal experiences. Honey is almost totally the opposite. A completely innocent and naive character, she is out of her depth in the world she lives. To put it bluntly, she’s a bit thick. But her lack of intelligence and knowledge of her own situation makes her the most vulnerable character in the Bond Women back catalogue. Despite her simplicity, she’s a likable character, and Bond quickly becomes very protective towards her. Anya and Honey start as polar opposites to each other and reach the same tragic conclusion at the end of the story to symbolize that Bond’s world destroys all who enter it. By writing and characterizing these two women in a more thought out manner, Fleming shows a degree of social commentary that was not present in his earlier work. This is real character development, something more than just a token attempt to make them seem more fully rounded. Ideally, all this would have been used to show Bond in a variety of light and shade as he interacts with them both, but unfortunately, this opportunity is missed.

5. Inspiring Conclusion

Your statement of the impact this work has had on those who have read it is the most encouraging success you have given. This says that your work carries the power to change the views and actions of others. Some people take years of experience to achieve such a goal and some are unable to ever make such a statement true. I am certain you have gained some publicity for Greenpeace through this work. This is a good approach as some people begin to change their views on environmental issues however have no immediate outlet for action. You have also unified your views and those of Greenpeace with people who support the whaling attempts. I believe this is rather important for encouraging change as it is difficult to change the opinions of others without some common ground. The interviews of the native whalers provide a powerful message that perhaps it would be best to find an alternative source of income for food to avoid future health risks in the native people. Throughout this book you have offered a healthier alternative to whale meat dishes and excellent global approach to the environmental issues in areas of whaling.

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