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Earth-Man Degradation In Corasanti's The Almond Tree: An Eco Critical Study
This article finds out the relationship between nature and human beings. Nature is being damaged by advanced technology as well as by human beings. Glotfelty (1996) presents his idea that it is the relation of living organisms to their environment that bring changes in the surroundings. We have seen the loss of humanity in this age of science and advancement. The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti (2012) is about the conflict between Palestine and Israel. For this purpose, the research is done from Eco Criticism lenses. Both physical and natural world shares close relations. The urgency of examining literature from an ecological point of view has increased due to the present environmental crisis which has swept the globe. This research leads to the conclusion that there must be peace and harmony in the world by being friendly not only with other human beings but with the environment as well.
Ecocriticism, Environmental Crisis, Loss of Humanity, War, Territorial Issues, The Almond Tree
We abuse the land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.
When we see land as a community, to which we belong,
We begin to use it with love and respect.
- Aldo Leopold
This article is based on the ecocritical analysis of Corasanti’s The Almond Tree (2012). The novel throws light on the elements through which human beings degrade nature and the environment. The negative use of technology and advanced scientific inventions destroy nature and human beings. This research finds out the problems and the solutions for the areas affected by war. The aftermaths of war and exploitation of natural sources affect human life as well as nature around.
Ecocriticism is a comprehensive term under which a variety of approaches fall; this can make it a complex term to define. Emerging in the 1980s on the shoulders of the environmental movement it started in the 1960s with the publication of Carson’s Silent Spring (1962), Ecocriticism has been and continues to be an “earth-centred approach” (Glotfelty,1996) the complex intersections between environment and culture, believes that “human culture is connected to the physical world, affecting it and affected by it” (Glotfelty,1996). It is an interdisciplinary study for scientists, writers, literary critics, anthropologists, historians, and more. It is an approach to examine the world around us, critiquing the way that how we represent it, interact with it and exploit it. Ecocriticism is not like feminist and Marxist criticism because it was not flourished like other movements, but later on, in 1990 is started to become prominent in the USA as well as other parts of the world. The scholars started to work together to established ecocriticism as a genre with the help of the Western Literature Association. The main motive of this movement was to reevaluate the works based on the theme of nature. With the help of many scholars, it became a successful theory, and Cheryll Glotfelty became the first professor of literature and environment.
Corasanti’s The Almond Tree (2012) has raised ecological issues. She is a Jewish American writer who has spent seven years in Israel and has a close interaction with the Palestine-Israel conflict. In this novel, she has projected her first-hand experiences while living in Israel. In the university, she met many people who were facing life after the war and its effects badly. The writer has given prominence to the pragmatic examples of exploitation of natural resources, and land mines are one of them. In the novel, Jews exploit nature as well as all possible human resources of mind and science as they want to possess Palestinian wealth and want to keep them under their control. The Israelis want the territorial expansion to rule over the country. They make people ill by curfews and by taking all their possessions.
The Almond Tree is an account of the Palestinian-Israeli struggle for a land that is profound for both the networks. In this way, really, the contention is between the mistreated and abusive force addressed by the Jews who are a solid military and an Inventive Palestinian kid, Ahmad, who battles for the duration of his life for his family and individuals and gains power. The excruciating and despicable scene in the original starts when Ahmad's most youthful sister Amal passed on because of hidden explosives planted in the front ground of their home. Her body parts dispersed on the ground before all the relatives. Ahmad's dad needs to gather the parts and cover her with his hands. So here, the primary worry of the writer is to feature the hurtful impact of landmines on families who lost their friends and family.
She further says that “The victims had become the victimizers. I had never seen oppression and racism as I witnessed in Israel. The Israelis don’t want the Palestinians because they aren’t Jews. It’s as simple as that. The Israelis want a Jewish country and are trying to make life so miserable for the Palestinians that anyone who wants a kind of life for their family will leave” (Corasanti, 2014).
Ecocriticism is acknowledged to be the examination of composition and formation of ideas from an interdisciplinary viewpoint where all sciences get together to analyze the earth and conceptualize possible responses for the amendment of the contemporary environmental situation. It is considered as a deliberately wide approach which is known by various names like green (social) ponders and ecopoetics. So it implies that ecocritics attempt to research such things which have the hidden environmental values and concerns. They are occupied with finding the significance of the word nature precisely and whether the examination of "place" ought to be a particular classification, much like a class, sexual orientation or race. They attempt to look at the human view of the wild in a more exact manner; their main concern is that how it has changed all through history. They need the delineation of ecological issues of the present situation in pop culture and current writing. So for this, they are particularly concerned, and they consider other disciplines, for example, history, theory and brain science, to be conceivable benefactors to ecocriticism.
Rueckert (1974) is the primary individual to coin the expression "ecocriticism" and utilizes it. He expects to weigh on "the use of biology and natural ideas to the investigation of writing.” Since then, there has been part of works distributed by the general population identifying with eco theory and feedback, and it is as yet advancing. It is so on account of the ascent of environmentalism in the late 1970s, which has been similar to a blast and heaps of scholarly authors contributed their compositions concentrating on the issues identified with the condition. In any case, in that capacity, there was no composed development to concentrate the natural/ecological side of writing, so these works identifying with the consciousness of condition were scattered and sorted under a reiteration of various subject headings, for example, pastoralism, human environment, regionalism, American Studies and so on. For instance, Buell et al. (2011) have studied the relationship between literature and environment and said it is the emerging field of ecocriticism with the strengths and weaknesses regarding the spectrum of this field of literary criticism. They are of the view that due to the novel nature of the field, it is still in the process of being organized and distinctive regarding its perspective. They have also pointed out towards the bright future by concluding that as it is now the part of the fields other than literature like art, music and films, that is why this field is expected to have an important contribution to the pot of literary criticism.
Earthman degradation: an Ecocritical study of the Almond Tree by Corasanti is about the relationship between human beings and nature that how both are necessary for human beings. Israeli soldiers destroy the environment for their benefit and do not care about the native people who depend on the farming of land and vegetables. Corasanti pays attention to the physical destruction of the land and nature, which leads to alienation. Nature and human beings share a close relationship together and have strong effects on each other. This research describes the effects of advanced technology on human beings and nature that how both are being destroyed by technology. This leads towards alienation, degradation and disturbs their relation of human beings to find the ways through which we can create harmony and balance between both the physical and natural world.
The nature or environment that surrounds us cast an impact on human beings in numerous ways. Kouta and Saleh (2013) have studied John Steinbeck’s The Winter of our Discontent from the ecological lens in which they present that a man’s connection with nature can highlight postmodern phenomena of alienation, identity crisis, disintegration and deterioration of ethics. Their study discloses that Steinbeck’s winter (1961) is actually a response against the postmodern aspects of alienation, deterioration of ethics and disintegration
Ecocriticism as a separate field opens the ways wide for scholars to study the relationship between humans and nature and how nature affects humans in different ways. Hojjat and Daronkolae (2013) are among those scholars who have studied the effects of nature and the environment on humans. They have studied Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1996) from an ecocritical lens and proved that the relationship between humans and nature could be cruel and heartless, and the novel Heart of Darkness (1996) supports this concept. Ivory presents the philosophy of Kurtz’s recognition with nature, which is not threatening in the novel; it is being devastated. The study concludes that imperialism proceeds by speeding industrialization and ultimately causes a threat to nature. The study suggests living in harmony with nature by avoiding a manipulative lifestyle.
Corasanti is one of those writers who throw light on environmental issues. The Almond Tree (2012) is the only novel by Corasanti. It is recent work by the author; therefore, not much research has been done on this. This present research is from the ecocritical lens to focus on environmental issues. Now a day this topic is becoming valuable, and many other theorists have started to work on it. Meeker commenting on The Comedy of Survival (1974), proposes an adaptation of contention that was later to overwhelm ecocriticism and natural theory. He gave the idea that ecological emergency is brought on fundamentally by a social convention in the world of the detachment of culture from nature and the rise of the previous towards good status. Meeker had attempted to delineate that a "comic mode" of wading through and "making love not war" has prevalent environmental esteem. Glofelty and Formm (1996) explain ecocriticism as the new kind of literary criticism and especially a link between criticism and environmental crisis (p.30). The relation between human beings and the environment gets troublesome when it is neglected to its fullest.
Khadam (2017) presents nature as a consoling power for human beings. He describes the relation of human beings with nature through the representation of how nature is important for the survival of human beings. Siddhartha leaves his family and friends and goes to the forest for meditation and to gain wisdom. He feels solace in the lap of nature by meditation. The presence of trees and plants helps him to ponder for a long time and to find out his inner desires of letting himself free from the lust of worldly possessions. Hesse presents the idea that in the age of alienation, loneliness, despair and depression, only nature can help people with its consoling effects. Earth provides everything to fulfill human desires, but it cannot fulfill one's greed.
Sahu (2014) portrays the disturbance existing in the lives of human beings as a result of environmental degradation. Her focus lies on the affected lives of women because of the consequences of the Ecocritical concerns. In Nectar in a Sieve (1954), Markandaya narrates the story of a woman who spent her whole life struggling a lot to take care of those whom she loved. Markandaya elucidates that the lives of women are highly affected by the degradation of nature. She portrays that the lives of women just like Rukmani and Ira are highly influenced by the dominance of masculine powers on nature and on women as well. Here in the novel, industrialist and powerful people related to feudalism are responsible for the plight of women. They are also much determined to destroy all natural resources for the sake of their own benefit. This action on their behalf affects the lives of women to a greater extent, as, unlike men, women are considered as more linked to the beauty and spirituality of the environment. Despite all the destructive outcomes on behalf of those who want to destroy nature and life of people related to it, a ray of struggle is found in the portrayal of characters to get rid of all the outcomes to live a life as one with nature.
Rueckert argues about the ecological concepts from a literary point of view. He uses this term to examine the relationship between nature and literature by using ecological concepts (Glotfelty, 1996, p. 107). Ecocriticism then finds out common ground between humans and non-humans to show the mutual ways in which they exist together. Human action always affects the environment in such destructive ways as the invention of nuclear bombs, DDT chemicals and many other tools. These things have very bad effects on natural resources as well as human life is in danger.
He invokes here the first law of ecology: “Everything is connected to everything else” (p.107). That means environment, nature, human beings and other forms of life all are interrelated to each other. Human beings cannot live without nature, and nature cannot long last without living beings. When both have close connections, then they should live in harmony. Scientific developments are useful for the betterment of human beings, but as well they are destroying the life on the planet.
In The Almond Tree (2012), Corasanti condemns the exploitation of nature and human beings. She is a keen observer and presents even minute details to the reader. Her novel is a cry for change and peace. Corasanti expresses her anger and sadness through the sufferings of her characters and nature during wartime. Eco Criticism is based on the exploitation of the physical environment, and it deals with the destruction of nature and massacre. The writer gives importance to the practical examples of environmental terrorism as land mines and bombings through which the environment is being polluted and human life is not safe. It is a story of a Palestinian family which suffers from the brutal treatment of Israel. This is the game of gaining or, more appropriately, the game of ultimate power. And in order to become stronger, one nation fights with other nations for the sake of power and ignores the terrible and long-lasting effects of war. Land mines are one of the main kinds of environmental and land destruction. Corasanti has tried to show the world that human life, as well as the environment, is more in danger due to the war of power.
Corasanti in The Almond Tree (2012) condemns the brutal treatment of nature and human beings. Her emphasis is on the aftermaths of war and human behavior that how the environment, as well as human beings, are destroyed by war. The opening line of the text explains the situation of a family who lives in Palestine. The younger daughter Amal is playing outside on the ground while the mother is unaware of this act; otherwise, she would not have let her go outside. “We were never, ever, supposed to go past the sign. That was the devil’s field” (Corasanti, 2012, p.15). When the family, mother, father, and brothers, Ahmad and Abbas, come outside, there is a blast, the next moment in slow motion, as “someone threw her up in the air. Smoke and fire were under her, and the smile flew away. The sound hit us – really hit us- and knocked us back, and when I looked to where she was, she was gone—just gone. I couldn’t hear anything” (p.15).
Land mines are planted in the ground in front of the houses so that no one can move freely. In case a child goes there, then the result is in the form of a mine blast. This is one of the many ways to oppress the people who live there and also to destroy the land and natural resources. Amal, the youngest child of the house, is dead due to the land mines. “Her body parts are scattered. Amal was torn up like her doll after our watchdog ripped it apart” (Corasanti, 2012, p. 16). This incident shows that life of people who live in the areas under war is valueless. The father tries to collect the body parts of the girl with directions of Ahmad, who takes help from the map while the soldiers were planting mines in the ground. Before they could bury Amal, there is an announcement that curfew will begin in five minutes, and any person outside will be killed. They take Amal with them to bury her later. This is a pathetic epitome of brutality that people do not even have the right to bury their dead ones just because of the curfew. This is a ruthless act; the pain of losing a family member is unbearable.
The land around their house belongs to them, but they do not have the right to move around freely. The land belongs to the people, but it has been captured and exploited by Israeli soldiers. Just like human beings, the land is also under the control of the devilish administration. They misuse and degrade land, just like they do with the residents. Glotfelty (1996) has shown the same concerns of ecocriticism through his descriptions of earth centred approaches as Corasanti has portrayed. Glotfelty states that human culture is connected to the physical world, affecting it and affected by it (p.xii).
The tree in the title of the novel The Almond Tree (2012) is the representation of the author’s interest in nature and how she wants to create equilibrium through her work. The presence of the almond tree in Ahmad’s home is a sign of their love and care for the land and nature. But unfortunately, their house and tree are snatched from them just like their homeland. Israel’s army not only plant mines in the area which belongs to the Palestinian people but also deprived them of their living places. Ahmad and his family are deprived of their house and the words “Keep out, closed area (Corasanti, 2012, p.21) show the harsh treatment and authority of Israel’s army. Now Ahmad’s family has no other option than to follow the orders of the soldiers as they are totally helpless to take any action. Israel’s soldiers not only deprive the people of Palestine of their home and land but their land is occupied by Jews who have captured all their possession and trees. Ahmad witnesses all this by climbing on the almond tree with Abbas; it makes both of them able to see new people wasting water as they are swimming in pools. The native is also deprived of their basic needs of life, and the people are “angry over the idea that they have barely enough water to drink while the new people are using the water for their enjoyment by swimming in it” (p. 25).
When one is left with no other option at the time of need, one cannot show anger in return; rather, one has to be very smart in dealing with the situation, as represented by Ahmad’s father. He still works for the Israelis despite having hatred for them. He believes that it is very inhuman of the Israelis to oppress the native people, and nature is also not safe as witnessed by Ahmad when he climbs the almond tree and observes the opposite side where now Israelis live. He feels that only five years earlier, this place was filled with olive trees and now it is filled with “landmines like the one that killed his baby sister, Amal” (p. 26).
The natural resource as trees and land which are the main source of life for human beings, are destroyed ruthlessly. No one takes care of the trees. The land is barren now which once was full of plants and trees. Soldier’s plant mines in land to use it against the villagers to force them to shift to other places. All these things are done to take control of the land as well as of the people. But they remain unaware of this fact that such acts of brutality actually push the nature towards destruction. Berman (2007) states that it is not possible to create harmony between man and nature without creating a human society which lives with long lasting balance with its natural environment (p. 372).
The Israeli soldiers do not care about the natives that their cruel behavior psychologically upsets the natives. It is evident that the stronger people always treat the weaker as inferior. They do not care to understand that all human beings are equal and they all have equal right to the resources around. Eventually, this kind of attitude leads to violation of nature and its resources. They use land as a tool for their expansion of territory. Corasanti shows in the text that brutal treatment of Jews destroys the land of Palestine and the life of its people.
Violence usually creates violence. Because of the inhumane treatment of the Israeli soldier’s all Palestinians want to take revenge from Jewish people for relocating them and making them homeless in their own country. “A boy comes into Ahmad’s house forcefully and asks him to hide the weapons in his home to use against the Jews. Ahmad is afraid to hide the weapons in his home as in case Jews come to know about it, they will kill the whole family. But the boy shows him pistol and commands to hide them in the dirt behind the almond tree” (Corasanti, 2012, p. 37). He has no respect for nature or trees as he is using the tree for the purpose of killing and destruction that bear him fruits to fill his hunger and provide him shade. Another way of seeing it makes clear that oppression against the oppressors is of no use. One can never handle situations of oppression with anger. There must be a moderate way to eradicate the oppression. Palestinians gather weapons to fight against Israelis. They force their own people to fight against opponents and make them miserable by saying that “Israel has built a house of glass, and the Palestinians have to shatter it” (p. 38).
After accepting the offer of the boy, Ahmad feels guilty with the thrill he has participated in. He is afraid that the Israelis may find it out and imprison him or they may bulldoze their house and then his family would have to “live in a tent” (Corasanti, 2012, p. 38). All these thoughts come into his mind about family and home because Israelis never think once before such acts as to bulldoze one’s home as they have inhumane attitude towards Palestinians. They only consider their materialistic approach and for that they capture more and more territories. The almond tree in Ahmad’s home also witnesses everything with them. As Lukacs (1971) says that nature is a societal category. Humans interact and communicate with non-human objects. Entities such as animals, plants, rivers, stones in nature are able to communicate with humans. People in animistic cultures regard nature as alive and articulate. Corasanti (2012) has shown her way of seeing nature as living entity through the description of different trees and the role played by the trees in the text. Ahmad climbs the tree with Abbas and watches all activities between Israel and Arabs. The family spends more time in the company of trees and nature and play around them. It shows how much close they are to the nature and how nature is always there to console them amidst all chaos and destruction. The characters in the novel give names to the trees in their home it shows their love for the nature as Ahmad states that:
I climbed our almond tree. Abbas and I had named her shahida, ‘witness’ because we spent so many hours on her watching the Arabs and Jews that she felt like a playmate deserving of a name. The olive tree on Shahidi's left we called Amal, ‘hope’, and the one on her right was Sa’dah, ‘happiness’ (p. 42).
This shows the deep interest of the writer and characters in nature as nature is the only thing to console the people who are away from their homes. Their hope, happiness, and companion of hard times are only trees and the lap of nature.
In Palestine, people cannot celebrate their events because of the curfew and the brutal treatment of soldiers. The same happens at Ahmad’s birthday party when during the party a soldier said, “Party is over, everybody goes home” (p. 45). It is difficult to breathe even in such circumstances where life has become abnormal. Curfew in the area disturbs all the activities of the people. They are not only deprived of their land and houses, but even they cannot celebrate any event peacefully. This incident shows two sides of the picture. On one side, there are freedom fighters who fight against the oppressors, and on the other side, there are Israeli soldiers who fight to get the land and to gain more power. In both cases, the sufferers are the native people who have nothing to do with both. Consequently, people become homeless, injured, relocated and psychologically upset as Shaw (2013) states that war is not any kind of the solution to the problems; rather, he considers it as the victory of one group over the other on the basis of the power structure. The aftermaths of the war are even more harmful to the people and nature when human beings become homeless and have nothing to do for their survival.
Ahmad’s family has no business with the Israeli soldiers and Palestinian freedom fighters but is being dragged into their problems forcefully. Father’s voice shakes as he exclaims that he knows nothing about the weapons but the soldiers are firm in their allegation. A soldier grabs his father’s collar and yanks him into the centre of the room. His skin turns white like an olive in the Israelis harsh light, and then the soldiers declare that they have found the weapons under the tree. Each word falls like a bomb on the family. The soldiers drag the father outside and take him with them. Along with it, the family is asked to vacate their home and gather their belongings. All soldiers stand there holding their rifles and aiming at the center door. They have tear gas bombs with them. One bomb falls on Ahmad, but he saves himself by getting down. Because of the explosion of the bomb, there is so much gas that their mother cannot see her younger daughter. Then they notice:
Sara’s face was covered in blood that came from a huge gash on her forehead. I pleaded, ‘wake up. Wake up, Sara.’ Sara never moved. Her eyes never fluttered. I kept breathing into her mouth and tapping her face. Nothing worked. She was blue and still—my beautiful innocent little sister. I wanted to weep, but my tears were all dried up (Corasanti, 2012, p.53).
Another family member has gone, little Sara. Because of the cruel treatment of the soldiers, Sara is dead without having a drop of water. And the family is unable to bury her without soldier’s permission. The life of miserable people is in the hands of soldiers, who are heartless and hurting people with their brutal acts. People can do nothing without getting a permit from the soldiers. Ahmad stands in line for many hours to get a permit to burry Sara but in vain. If they burry without a permit, the soldiers dig up the ground again and take out the dead body from the grave. Soldiers once again announce to the family to “Say goodbye to your house, terrorists!” (Corasanti, 2012, p.54). Ahmad’s mother collapses at the soldier’s feet and pleads, “Please, we have no place left to go” (p.55). On being homeless again, mother has lost all her hopes and falls on the ground. Ahmad asks they will find someplace to live. The soldiers set fire to their house.
Flames shot up, charring the walls, which disintegrated into ash before our eyes. Our home was gone. In its place was glowing, red hot rubble. Then I noticed our almond tree, unharmed; only her flowers were gone (p. 56).
Such brutal acts in the war between countries lead people to die under the sky. They are being called terrorists, but they themselves are the victim of the brutality. Common people, who have nothing to do with all these activities, are being involved. Corasanti portrays a family’s degradation in Palestine, and there are many other families facing these circumstances. Not only human beings but non-human entities are also in danger as she describes that all the natural sources, as well as trees, are burnt, and this leads to environmental pollution. It shows who the real terrorists are those who sow trees or the ones who destroy them. Dostoyevsky in 1991 talks about the evil nature of men in Dimitrova, N. I. (2016), that they are even worse than animals in their attitude as:
Man, do not pride yourself on your superiority to the animals, for they are without sin, while you, with all your greatness, you defile the earth wherever you appear and leave an ignoble trail behind you -- and that is true, alas, for almost every one of us.
The Almond Tree (2012) depicts the destruction of the environment and human beings. Morton (2010) discusses important issues of the environment with humankind. He states that all forms of life are connected to each other. This connection penetrates into all dimensions of life. Not even a single being or object can exist independently from the ecological biosphere, nor can nature live separately from the synthetic elements of life. Human beings are in the race of progress, and they care less about humanity and nature and destroy all possible resources through which they get essential elements for living.
The social setup of Palestine is in conflict with Israel. The families are left with no place to live, but still, the characters in the novel are hopeful because they see that the almond tree is somehow harmless, only its leaves have gone. That means hope is still there; the tree will flourish again, and the good times will come soon. Although, the circumstances are not well as the family has lost two members and their home as well. The father is in prison, and they have no permission to meet him because everything is done after getting permits from the military authority. People have to stand in long queues to get a permit. Ahmad asks a person in the queue about his purpose to get the permit. To which, he responds that he is here to get permission to buy apricots and oranges from his own trees, the ones his great grandfather has planted and the ones he has struggled for to keep them alive in “drought and war” (Corasanti, 2012, p. 59).
People have no access to their own assets for their use. The soldiers have occupied the trees and gardens of the native people with keeping them in drought. This is highly nonsensical and brutal when people cannot even eat the fruit of their own planted trees. The Israelis have captured all the belongings of the people and force them to beg for the basic needs of having food. Huxley (2009) argues that man’s unnatural treatment of nature has brought sad results for humanity at large. All forms of life modify their contexts. Man is not an exception. He has affected his environment notably. Human actions often affect non-human nature. If people overlook ecological values, the quality of human life deteriorates. They are common people with no political backgrounds and are suffering more than those who are responsible.
The real purpose of writing this novel is to create an atmosphere of love and happiness for all people. Destruction of the environment creates hatred, and it is not the solution to anything. Corasanti supports the idea to create balance in this world. Her goal is to throw light on the plight of Palestine and to show them a better way for success. She had experienced the circumstances when she was in Gaza, and she decides to do something to eradicate the elements responsible for the war.
The treatment of military soldiers with the native people is brutal, pathetic and inhuman. When Ahmad gets a permit to meet his father in resilience, he goes through very brutal treatment by the security guards. Women, babies and old men are there to meet their loved ones in jail. The prisoners are in bad condition, wearing black jumpsuits working in the furnace of a yard. The people of all ages as prisoners are suffering, working and lifting cinderblocks. Human beings are being treated as animals.
A gaunt, almost skeletal prisoner dug his shovel into the sand pile, but when he tried to lift it, his body trembled, the sand spilt before his wheelbarrow, and he collapsed. He lay there, ignored, like a crushed bird (Corasanti, 2012, p. 63).
These factors play an important role in one’s destiny as material gain is important. Without money, people cannot fulfil their basic needs. Social setup has a great influence on the lives of people. If the social and economic things are stable, then life is good, but if it is not stable, then life automatically becomes difficult. As witnessed in The Almond Tree (2012), the life of the characters is disturbed due to social and political issues. War is a political matter, and it harms the common people more than anything else. It destroys nature and natural resources. That is a great loss for the common people as they depend on natural resources for their survival. Campbell (1996) rightly argues that nature and culture are not opposites, but they are interdependent and interconnected. He further says because “our culture does not teach us that we are plain citizens of the earth because we live apart from the natural world and deny our sympathy with it, we have lost the sense of unity that is still possible in other cultures. Our desire marks what we have lost and what we still hope to regain. The desire for ecology goes beyond humanity” (p.245). He also claims that human beings belong not only to the networks of language and culture but also to the networks of land.
In Palestine, the Israelis have captured the gardens and fruit-bearing trees of the people, which have a great impact on the economy. A healthy environment is necessary for people to live healthy lives. War and aggressive conflicts destroy the environment to their fullest and make things dangerous for the people. Nixon (2011) states that violence created by climate change, deforestation, global warming, oil spills and the environmental aftermaths of the war and bombings takes place slowly with the passage of time and often invisibly. He further states that the reason is inattention to environmental issues and the ignorance of human beings.
To conclude, it can be said that human beings should not forget that they are one with the environment, and if they try to change or destroy it, they are destroying themselves own selves. Technology is good, but only if it is for the benefit of humanity. The Almond Tree (2012) offers optimism instead of violence and oppression. It makes people change their attitude towards the treatment of nature and human beings. Corasanti, instead of all odds, has presented a humanistic approach through her character Ahmad and his family’s suffering. The story is a heart-wrenching account of miseries, sufferings and degradation of land, as well as the massacre of human beings. The intensity and grimness of the story are woven around the Palestinian and Israel conflict. Ahmad, the protagonist, witnesses the injustice and destruction of war in his childhood. He grows up in the ruthless treatment of Israeli soldiers and witnesses his father’s imprisonment without any charge. The painful incidents make readers feel every wound, every loss and every torture on unarmed Palestinians. The family experienced hunger pangs along with the brutal treatment of soldiers. The real purpose of writing this novel is to create an atmosphere of love and happiness for all. Her goal is to pay attention to the plight of Palestine and to show them a better way towards a peaceful life.