Comparing Mcclay's The Particularities Of Place And Placelessness

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What is the difference between a place and the concept of placelessness? Can a person be in a place, but not really be presently there? As humans, we are always in a place but does that mean we are emotionally and mentally there, or are we just physically present? Do places matter as much to us as they did to past generations? Is it possible for a person or a place, for that matter, to be placeless? These questions begin to chip away at the conflict of place and placelessness in our lives, more specifically my life. It seems that places are slowly, but surely losing their position in our lives. Places are gradually becoming placeless. This has, even, begun to occur in my own life. Even when I am in a place it feels like am not truly present.…show more content…
We fill our lives with places are placeless. They hold no deeper meaning. Wilfred McClay attempts to describe place versus placelessness in his essay The Particularities of Place. McClay describes place as “a setting charged with human meaning” (35) while describing space or placelessness as a setting where “that meaning has departed” (35). This is powerful and moving. It shows that for a place to truly be a ‘place’ there needs to be human meaning within it. It shows that humans need to pursue a deeper meaning of places. If they do not they will exist merely in spaces instead of…show more content…
This can also provide evidence to the idea that places are losing their significance in our lives. If we do not have a sense of place we can become uprooted and disconnected from the places we are in. We, like the places we refuse to find meaning in, will become placeless. We live in such a fast paced society, it is easy for this to happen without us even knowing it. I am even guilty of this myself. McClay discusses that the sense of place “is very fragile and easily lost” (34). In this line he is saying that if we are not careful we will lose places in our lives. Places are delicate and can quickly vanish if we do not continue to search for deep meaning in them. An example of this can be found in my life. I am a nursing major and this past January I found myself having doubts about nursing school and if nursing was my true calling. I had countless breakdowns, could not find peace in anything and I considered quitting school. As I look back on it now I realize these feelings were caused by not have a concrete sense of place and by not looking deeper below the surface of nursing and its place in my life. As I began to look deeper into the art of nursing I was able to find meaning and locate my place again. if I had not taken the time to look for a deeper meaning I would have lost my spot in the world. I would become a mere atom floating around in space waiting to find my spot

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