The Bald Eagle

I chose the chapter Bald Eagle for two reasons. First, this past Saturday I saw a bald eagle for the first time in my life. It was perched halfway up the light pole nearest the golf course at Papp stadium, with its head held high and chest puffed out. It was surreal. Secondly, the Philadelphia Eagles have always been my favorite NFL team. Therefore, it was only natural that I was drawn towards this chapter. The Bald Eagle’s most well known feature is its very unique white head and shoulders, as well as its overpowering sense of focus and determination in its eyes. Furthermore, when on the hunt for prey, the Bald Eagle can top speeds of 100 mph. Overall, this is one cool bird.

In the chapter, Williams continues talking about her mom’s cancer, and the ongoing battle she is fighting with it. She brings up their conversations about the disease and her mom’s experience with it. Her mom explains that sometimes she forgets she has the disease and that life goes on as normal. She later brings in her experience of seeing 12 bald eagles standing on the frozen salt lake, looking like “white hooded monks”. Furthermore, she explains their feeding habits and migratory patterns, stating “when the ice goes so do they”. Overall, I think the bald eagle experience connects to the general theme of cancer prevalent throughout the book . The theme that cancer affects everything in a persons life, could be applied to humans cancerous effects on nature. When someone gets cancer, not only does their body start deteriorating, their relatives and loved ones also bear some burden. In a similar way, humans can be a cancer to nature, affecting the habitats of animals. If the habitat of a particular animal is destroyed, then the animal bears the consequences, or takes the burden, often leading to extinction. Humans have lead to the rapid increase in global temperature, which could result in there being no more ice soon (in geographic time). Therefore, the habitat of the bald eagle using the ice on Salt Lake for hunting/feeding grounds,¬†as explained by Williams, may soon no longer exist. Leading to the extinction of the Bald Eagle in a similar way as cancer.

Reference with cool facts about the Bald Eagle: http://www.birdsandblooms.com/birding/bird-species/birds-of-prey/7-cool-facts-bald-eagles/.

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