There are several thematic models of the relationship between humans and nature in literary texts.
In the Rousseauian model, nature is benevolent and humans are naturally good. The opposition between man and nature is due to the evils of civilization, and thus by abandoning the artifices which separate us from nature we can return to an Edenic state. The innocent man can survive in a state of nature by casting off civilized habits.
In Hobbes, nature is hostile and man totally depraved (in an almost Calvinist sense, despite Hobbes himself being an atheist). Life is nasty, brutish, and short. Natural and human depravity can only be tamed by an absolute rule of law enforced by a despot, with humans surviving by taming or conquering both the natural world and their own nature by force.
Atwood suggests that in Canadian literature, people are seen as the victims of nature, and survive by forms of almost creative victimhood.