Though the ways humans attack the ocean may be endless most people turn a blind eye. Dan Brayton, in his essay blah blah blah, discusses his concerns on the way we are treating our ocean. Brayton, along with other literary scholars, sees the statistics of our effect on the ocean as drastically minimal. These authors see the pollution of the ocean as a “literary phenomenon” and are taking it upon themselves to get the people informed.

Brayton cites Peter Matthiessen’s Far Tortuga for taking on the side of the ocean yet being a challenging read. Though his initial interpretation is fairly negative he then shifts to a more positive outlook on the work. Brayton applauds Mathiessen for “breaking with novelistic conventions to produce an environmental awareness in the act of reading”. Mathiessen’s piece is chalk full of metaphors allowing to get at the hard cutting social issues. Brayton goes as far as to compare Far Tortuga to Moby Dick; both “an aquatic test of the human capacity for ethical interaction with the aquatic world”.

To conclude Brayton mentions sustainability and our duties to consider environmental ethics in our professional lives. He invites us all to care for environmental catastrophe like our own lives and I invite you to do the same.


Brayton, Dan. “Writ in Water: Far Tortuga and the Crisis of the Marine Environment.” Contemporary Literary Criticism, edited by Lawrence J. Trudeau, vol. 395, Gale, 2016. Literature Resource Center, Accessed 21 Mar. 2017. Originally published in PMLA, vol. 127, no. 3, 2012, pp. 565-571.

  1. Ben 3 years ago

    We cannot have life without our Oceans, if we don’t take care of our oceans then we are not taking care of ourselves! This article/post is a great reminder.

  2. Naomi 3 years ago

    Hi Annika,

    Great post! I recently researched a similar topic, about micro plastic pollution of oceans and lakes. The effects of the tiny man made plastics are unbelievable, and although we cannot clean up all the waters, we can work to inform others to prevent the problem from getting worse. If your interested, I posted about the problem on my page:)


  3. Jimmy 3 years ago

    Your article on the issues with pollution in our oceans was very well written and captured my attention. We need to make improvements for collecting pollutants in an efficient matter. We use the oceans water supply everyday and in order to keep it clean this message must be spread. Thank you for your post!

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