He separates himself from his thinking mind, saying that the part of the self that reflects inward can be made external to the self. The central recurring theme that emerges in transcendentalism is a return to nature. In the gentle, benevolent, revitalizing company of nature, loneliness is an irrelevant concern. The wildest animals do not repose, but seek their prey now; the fox, and skunk, and rabbit, now roam the fields and woods without fear. Henry David Thoreau was many things, but the most important were him being a philosopher, a naturalist, abolitionist, and a poet.
This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore. Thoreau's Walden: An Exercise in Solitude Today, many Americans don't have very positive associations with someone who spends a year alone in a cabin he built himself. Thoreau talks to Field as if he were a philosopher, urging him to simplify, but his words fall on uncomprehending ears. He thought our lives are frittered away with needless and trivial details and concerns about our lives. Since the nineteenth century, Walden has been reprinted many times, in a variety of formats. In this chapter, Thoreau contrasts two disparate views of humankind through his description of the sounds he hears in the forest. He uses its tracks to walk to the village.
They both had similarities and differences. Though some people say they think he would be lonely, especially on rainy or snowy days, Thoreau wants to remind them that the earth is just a point in space, an immeasurable distance from the inhabitants of any other star. So also, owing to bodily and mental health and strength, we may be continually cheered by a like but more normal and natural society, and come to know that we are never alone. The importance of worldly affairs, even the ones that occupy him in the first chapters, fades. Today, Thoreau's words are quoted with feeling by liberals, socialists, anarchists, libertarians, and conservatives alike. Thoreau's experiment in deliberate living.
Moreover, even the best company becomes wearisome after a while. They are, in fact, the cause of our distraction. Walden has seemingly died, and yet now, in the spring, reasserts its vigor and endurance. Having seen other young men who have inherited farms enslaved and made a machine by the obligations of property, Thoreau sought to escape their plight through his life at Walden. A Thoreauvian lifestyle not only can make our individual lives more worthwhile but it can also help preserve our planet. What is the pill which will keep us well, serene, contented? His comments on the railroad end on a note of disgust and dismissal, and he returns to his solitude and the sounds of the woods and the nearby community — church bells on Sundays, echoes, the call of the whippoorwill, the scream of the screech owl indicative of the dark side of nature and the cry of the hoot owl.
He argues that we are free to live whatever kind of life we want to live. Our horizon is never quite at our elbows. Considering the shortness of time in the course of eternity, he regrets the way his intellect has separated him from reality and hopes his instinct will lead him to it. Throughout most of this book i was confused. Walden Summary and Thoreau's Motivations It seems like Thoreau thought that by cutting out interaction with other humans and the modern conveniences or what was considered modern in the 1850s , Thoreau thought he could get down to the true essence of what living really meant.
Let me suggest a few comparisons, that some one may convey an idea of my situation. You may perhaps have some pleasant, thrilling, glorious hours, even in a poorhouse. In his book Walden, Thoreau describes life in a home that he built himself at Walden Pond, where he remained for two years and two months, away from the luxuries of civilization. Thoreau's embrace of nature and criticism of the influences of human technology must not be read as a whole-sale dismissal of human culture and civilization. Until he was 28 he worked as a surveyor alongside his father making pencils. Nearby to Thoreau's house, the railroad passes.
By a conscious effort of the mind we can stand aloof from actions and their consequences; and all things, good and bad, go by us like a torrent. To be free from social slaughter of word of mouth. It has little to do with the physical proximity of others, since he says that a man can be lonely when surrounded by others if he does not feel real companionship with them. But it really is neither. You might think a book with such an ambitious aim would be difficult to read, and you would be right. He recounts a story of Winslow, a Pilgrim leader at Plymouth, who went to visit Massasoit at his lodge. The pond cools and begins to freeze, and Thoreau withdraws both into his house, which he has plastered, and into his soul as well.
Only once, a few weeks after he moved to the woods, did he worry that being near to other people might be necessary for a happy life, but rain drops on his roof and all the other sounds of nature suddenly began to seem friendly and kindred. Thoreau's language is not terribly accessible, and he frequently uses irony, witticisms, and satire to make his point, and it can be difficult for a reader to tell when he's being serious and when he's not. The dawning of the Industrial Revolution influenced Thoreau's opinions regarding society and civilization. Civil disobedience, Henry David Thoreau, Leo Tolstoy 831 Words 3 Pages Sharon Ahmed Walden and Civil Disobedience Henry David Thoreau is one of the most interesting men I have ever encountered in my readings. Thoreau explains that he left the woods for the same reason that he went there, and that he must move on to new endeavors. In search of water, Thoreau takes an axe to the pond's frozen surface and, looking into the window he cuts in the ice, sees life below despite its apparent absence from above.