Environmental colonization, Amazon rain forest

Document Type

Research Paper


Karen Tei Yamashita explores a complex collection of themes within her novel, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest; Yamashita relates her fictional futuristic landscape of the Amazon to real-world issues of environmental colonization, capitalist-driven imperialism, and ecocritical queries into the relationship between nature and culture. As a work of speculative fiction, this novel draws significant connections between an excavated past and an imagined future. Yamashita asks the reader to consider, in the face of degradation and exploitation, how does nature fight back? What is the lasting impact on those forced to shoulder such effects?

Yamashita juxtaposes modernity with history, revealing traces that environmental destruction leaves behind on the human ecology of a region undergoing dramatic topographical and cultural change. Through the Arcs primary focus is on the relationship between nature and culture—two phenomena intrinsically connected through the transformational force of ecology. A loss of nature can have a devastating effect on the indigenous communities who are exploited in the process and aftermath of environmental degradation.



Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Environmentalism--Economic aspects--Amazon River Region; Capitalism--Environmental aspects--Amazon River Region; Speculative fiction


Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Subjects - Names (LCNAF)

Yamashita, Karen Tei, 1951- Through the arc of the rain forest; Yamashita, Karen Tei, 1951- --Criticism and interpretation

Geographic Coverage

Amazon River Region









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