Progym type: impersonation
Perrottet’s article brings to light the formation of the idea of the “American vacation.” The idea of vacation is unique to America, as other English-speaking countries refer to these leisurely trips as “holidays,” and Perrottet explains why that is and where it started. William Murray’s book “Adventures in the Wilderness” popularized the idea of getting out of the cities and into the wilderness for a break from the busyness of every day life. While this is a welcome idea for any overworked urbanite, the degree to which Murray proposed to experience the outdoors was met with differing opinions and even backlash from some. While everyone wants a break from the busy concrete jungle of major metropolitan cities, not everyone wants to take that break while camping in the middle of the mountains for days on end, with no contact with civilized life for several days at a time. I would argue that the first round of Murray’s audience who were gravely disappointed in what they found versus what they expected, was simply an unsuccessful attempt at impersonation. The wannabe-nature-lovers were just that: they wanted to experience the wonderful solitude of the wilderness but were not prepared to leave behind luxuries that they had grown used to. As Murray noted in his defense, many first-time campers came
dressed as for a promenade along Broadway, or a day’s picnic.
They wanted to get Murray’s experience of refreshing solitude but without impersonating his means of making this kind of experience enjoyable or even possible.