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Walden by Henry Thoreau. What Ann Dillard and Henry Thoreau has in similarities - Essay Example

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Henry Thoreau in his book Walden reveals his experimentation with personal sovereignty and self-sufficiency. The book takes the reader into a journey of the Walden Pond by which the author resided for 26 long months…
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Walden by Henry Thoreau. What Ann Dillard and Henry Thoreau has in similarities
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Download file to see previous pages The book is a work of the author’s self-discovery, the discovery of individuality and the discovery of the right path to lead a life of peace and satisfaction. The author harps on how human being wastes their labor on “excessive toil” (Thoreau) but fails to acquire the “true integrity” (Thoreau). Taking a cue from the work of Henry Thoreau and inspired by the author, the book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard revolves around the Dillard’s life about how she spent her life in the Tinker Creek of Virginia. Dillard spends her days in the lap of nature by walking through the woods, watching the cows, ducks, frogs, and observing the praying mantis pod which is evident when she talks about her spending time by sitting “on a fallen trunk in the shade and watch the squirrels in the sun” (Dillard, 6). She spends her life amidst the nature, “A couple of summers ago I was walking along the edge of the island to see what I could see in the water, and mainly to scare frogs” (Dillard, 7). The writing reveals her alternate revelation of the natural beauty and the philosophical muse. Through the book the author makes an attempt to explore the true characteristics of nature that surrounds the living world. The author pens down her thoughts as she observes the harmony of nature at the eponymous Tinker Creek during her stay at the place. The book is a work of chronicle, science, anthropology, myths, and way of life, divinity, and environmentalism. The book reveals the existence of the mixture of sublime character and a horrific character in the Nature. (Dillard) However despite the similar themes in the works, there are some differences in their approaches. Walden is a work of Henry Thoreau that mainly revolves around his stay at the woods by the side of the Walden Pond, where he went for the quest of self discovery, as he feels that human beings spent their time in “mere ignorance and mistakes” (Thoreau). On the contrary Anna Dillard’s stay in the forest has been mainly to understand the true character of the Mother Nature and discern her natural world. It is a book that navigates between the paradox of celebrating and mourning, “I used to have a cat, an old fighting tom, who would jump through the open window by my bed in the middle of the night and land on my chest……Some nights he kneaded my bare chest with his front paws, powerfully, arching his back, …… And some mornings I’d wake in daylight to find my body covered with paw prints in blood; I looked as though I’d been painted with roses.” (Dillard, 3) Dillard’s writing explores between the true nature of the red stains- was it the bloodstain or the roses painted. She makes an effort to know the answer of whether nature is that harmonious and unified system that operates according to the principles of co-dependence and compassion or it is the force, which is hardhearted and unthinking and has an eerie mystery and obscurity in it. (Dillard) Thoreau’s book is more about renouncing the worldly pleasures an idea of “get away from all” whereas, Dillard’s stay is more about finding the true aspect of Nature and to discover the mysticism in it. While Walden reveals that Thoreau was not living the life of a hermit, which is evident from the chapter “Visitors” when he says “I have had twenty five or thirty souls with their bodies, at once under my roof”, Dillard’s writing reveals that there was no connection with the community. Thoreau withdrew from the community to lead a life, which is prophetically outside the society, but the writing of Dillard reveals the escapist nature of the author when she says, “I shy away from the arts, from the emotional human stew…and I drive myself deeper and deeper into exile from my own kind.” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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