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Mother Nature

  • By: Shaista Justin
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Mother Nature is an anthropomorphized and feminized personification of the natural world. What comprises the natural world has been subject to changing interpretations from religion, philosophy, the visual arts, and literature. Nature has either included or excluded elements such as the Earth, the universe, or “cosmos, land, or landscape.” In the human relationship with the natural world, nature has either been seen to include and encompass human beings or has been regarded as separate and distinct.

The anthropomorphism of the natural world, where human attributes or characteristics have been ascribed to nature, has traditionally been associated with the role women play in human reproduction. The attributes ascribed to the natural world in this personification are the idealized traits of motherhood: nature represented as a nurturing, empathetic, ...

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