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Adaptive Failure: Easter’s End – Four Levels of Interactions | Flax Golden Tales

Adaptive Failure: Easter’s End – Four Levels of Interactions | Flax Golden Tales

Adaptive Failure: Easter's End

Adaptive Failure: Easter’s End – Jared Diamond, USA (1937-)

Literal Comprehension

Jared diamond wants to aware us to protect environment and natural resources and to do that he took the help of Easter Island civilization. The area of Easter Island is 64 square miles and it lies in the Pacific Ocean. It has fertile soil. The island derives its name from its discovery by the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggenveen on Easter in 1722. It is guessed that at first Europeans visited this island in the 18th and early 19th century. Its most famous feature is its huge stone statues.

Captain James Cook once visited it and informed us that islanders came to meet him by swimming and lacked the knowledge of making tight boats. More than two hundred statues which stood on massive stone had height of 33 feet and weight up to 82 tons. The most surprising question is about the construction of stone. How could they make and erect such statues without using wood, rope, wheel etc.? The statues were in good position till 1722 but by 1864, all were destroyed.

Many past researched upon its inhabitants tells us that Easter islander were the offspring of Polynesians. When Polynesian settlers arrived there 400 AD by taking small boats, it was covered by forests and there were enough fish in the sea. So it seemed a piece of paradise. The statues construction peaked around 1200 to 1500 AD. During the period, the population was around 700 to 2000. They would make ropes from huahua tree and got wood, nuts, sugar from palm trees. People had destroyed jungle to make house, boat, garden and for fuel. Due to the rapid destruction of forest, many birds and animals were extinct.

As a result, there appeared starvation and many people died. In the name of hand to mouth, people became enemies and started dividing statues. Rival clans began to destroy each other statues and all of them have been destroyed by 1864. The causes of statues destroying are (a) they did not care their importance for future generation and (b) they did not care for them because of the ongoing violence, conflict and destruction. According to the writer, today people should take knowledge from the fall of Easter Island. Otherwise, we can also face the same reality as Easter islanders had faced in the past.


From this article, Jared Diamond showing the fall of Easter Island wants to request us to preserve the natural resources. In this regard, we can take this article as awareness to today people to conserve the ecology. He is also trying to tell us that we should not be narrow minded and should think about future generation. Due to the lack of farsightedness, Easter islander did not understand importance of their forefather made stone statues and pulled down all. Similarly, they destroyed the forests, as a result, they got starvation and in the name of hand to mouth, there appeared violence and quarreled among the people. In this way, this article clearly tells us to be farsighted to use natural resources meaningfully and should also think about our future generation. In this regard it can be taken as an appeal writing for us to preserve the nature or ecology.

Critical Thinking

It is research article, so personally I don’t find many unacceptable ideas expressed in it. But my critical study of this article made me raise one question. Why does not the writer give many more ways to preserve the nature? This article really tells about many things about past but it does not say ongoing problem. So I thought this is an incomplete article because it just focuses on the past time. The writer does not give specific solution to preserve the nature but he just says, to understand the value of natural resources, we should study the fall of Easter islander.


After reading this story, I really understood the value of forest. Before reading this article, I did not feel that trees have so many importance in our life. now I realized that trees play vital role in our life. if they are destroyed. there will appear the problem of starvation. obviously, in such situation, we cannot predict our existence. Being an educated people, I will teach my uneducated villagers to make reforestation and I myself will plant many trees in my home town. in this regard I am very much grateful to the writer; Diamond who taught me the value of trees in our life.

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