Nobody downloaded yet

Henry David Thoreau and Walden - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
Henry David Thoreau focused his writings on how man was affected by nature. He wrote from an autobiographical point of view revealing his own internal conflict with mans struggle against nature. In his novel Walden, he reveals his mental and spiritual beliefs through a personal journey in which he strives to become in tune with nature, working not to be victorious over these universal forces, but rather to participate in harmony with nature, in tern exposing love and truth…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER91.8% of users find it useful
Henry David Thoreau and Walden
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample
"Henry David Thoreau and Walden"

Download file to see previous pages Thoreau introduced an idea of man as an individual, rather than a subject, by thoroughly describing the way a citizen should live in many of his works. Thoreau's essay, "Civil Disobedience," accentuated personal ethics and responsibility. It urged the individual to follow the dictates of conscience in any conflict between itself and civil law, and to violate unjust laws to invoke their repeal. He directly supplements these arguments he presents in his essay. One night in July in 1846, during his stay at Walden, Thoreau was walking into Concord from the pond when he was approached by the jailer, and charged with not paying his poll tax. Thoreau did not pay his poll tax since 1843 when a friend of his spent the night in jail for not paying his. He did not see why he should have to pay the tax, he had never voted, and he knew that the political tax had to be related with the funding of the Mexican War and the support of slavery, both of which he strongly objected to.
In Walden, he questions the lifestyles that people choose. He makes his readers wonder if they have been chosen the kind of life that will really offer them happiness. Are they merely living a career or some other narrowly routine or is a worthwhile life being lived. Thoreau wonders if the truly valuable elements of life are being taken advantage of if a person is not living simply. If a person is so caught up in working or never having enough in life, one wonders, and satisfaction are difficult to obtain. As he states in the beginning Walden, "most men, even in this comparatively free country, though mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that is finer fruits cannot be plucked by them"1. This means that people care more about the finer things in life and easier work instead of nature's gifts and hard work. Thoreau draws a parallel between others preoccupation with money and his own enjoyment of non-monetary wealth.

Thoreau discusses the issue of how we spend our time and energies. It is obvious that his townspeople are not as economical as they spend many hours working very hard to accomplish very little, showing a false sense of economy. Thoreau believed that all attempts to redeem mankind form its problems were useless unless such attempts began with the person. Thoreau thought that by living simply with few needs or material possessions man would have more time to enjoy life its fullest natural potential.

According to Thoreau humans must not struggle so long and hard to merely harmonize with the beliefs of society and what human nature ought to be. We must stray away from the path beaten into our minds since we were infants and attain self-actualization through a unity with nature, as the self is the absolute center of reality. The entire universe, and all that is external, is emitted from the self, which gets its reality from the inner self. Self-reliance is thus not only economical but also social and spiritual. In "Economy", Thoreau seems almost obsessed with the idea that he can support himself completely through his own labor, which will also reap a profit. He even goes so far as to write out detailed lists of his accounting, such as the cost of his housing and how much he has spent on salt. He must work for what he ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Henry David Thoreau and Walden Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/literature/1499272-henry-david-thoreau-and-walden
(Henry David Thoreau and Walden Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words)
https://studentshare.org/literature/1499272-henry-david-thoreau-and-walden.
“Henry David Thoreau and Walden Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/literature/1499272-henry-david-thoreau-and-walden.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document
CHECK THESE SAMPLES - THEY ALSO FIT YOUR TOPIC
Walden by Henry Thoreau
...sought to guide us to a world of higher truths, and used realities as the signposts.” (Conrad, 138) The book is “part autobiography” a “part jeremiad”, “a part invocation”, and a “part divination.” (Conrad, 138) Therefore, “If to adopt Henry David Thoreau’s own directives for effective reading, we must laboriously seek the meaning of each word and line, a perusal of Walden Pond necessitates not merely a wandering into the wandering into the Concord woods but an immersion in the titular pond itself.” (Poetzsch, 387) According to Poetzsch, the form of naturalism as depicted by Thoreau in his philosophy is anti capitalist and anti materialist....
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay
A Lethal Lack of Industry. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
...?23August A Lethal Lack of Industry In a day and age that promotes ultra-environmentalism, anti-capitalism, and naturalism as politically correct and spiritually savvy ideals by which to live, Henry David Thoreau, famed author and naturalist, has taken on a new popularity – as a New Age guru, if you will. In Walden, Thoreau enterprises to disenfranchise himself from everything that America stood for in the mid-1880s– progress, industrialization, and innovation. Not only did he set out to do this from the solitude of a remote forest in Massachusetts, but he also managed to declare war on the very thing that bolstered America into world prominence: modern...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Henry David Thoreau: Walden
...Henry David Thoreau: Walden Emerson lists several qualities of being a poet. These qualities explain that the poet is a representative, a ‘namer’ of things, a language maker and, even a liberating god! However, for purposes of this paper, we shall go with the first definition. The poet is a representative. In trying to prove that the poet is representative, the work Walden by Henry David Thoreau shall be relied upon. This selection is extremely informed to a great extent. After reading the essay written by Emerson in detail, the poet comes out as a person who dedicates himself to understanding the world...
5 Pages(1250 words)Essay
Walden & Thoreau
...? Walden & Thoreau Walden & Thoreau So, what do you make of all this? Thoreau postulate reality on chronological realism imbued inenvironmental, situational/circumstantial and time dynamism rather than on the inherent social-cultural/traditional cognizant of human being. This conclusion is drawn from his phrase “only that day dawns to which we are awake…” which realizes a dynamic and continuous cognizant experiences rather than rigid and inherent experiences from social-cultural/traditional background. Is he on to something? Yes! Thoreau is critic of the rigid and inherent social-cultural rationalization of life experiences, which he...
7 Pages(1750 words)Book Report/Review
Henry David Thoreau: Walden
...Walden: Lessons Learnt from Nature. Henry David Thoreau built a rough cabin in the wilderness of Walden Pond, which served as a Nature Retreat for the inhabitants of Concorde in the 1840’s. He spent two years there, living a solitary life devoted to writing and communion with nature. Thoreau demonstrates in Walden “Transcendentalism's preoccupation with the details of nature, which seemed to encapsulate divine glory in microcosmic form” (Finseth, 15). Thoreau’s Walden represents his quest to discover the true meaning of life. Thoreau states the purpose of this...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
Henry David Thoreau
...?How is the Merlin Hawk a symbol of Thoreau himself? of Institute> This paper aims to identify how a Merlin Hawk symbolizes the behavior and to some extent the person Henry David Thoreau himself. To write this paper, Henry David Thoreau’s expeditions were read in detail. Henry David Thoreau spent two years near Walden Pond living a life of solitude. His observations as explained in this book mention about various birds and particularly about his close encounter with the Merlin Hawk (also known as the Pigeon Hawk as its appearance is similar to that of a...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay
English - Walden by Henry David Thoreau
...Walden: Thoreau’s Spiritual Vision of Unity with Nature and the Significance of Self-Expression. Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862) was a writer and philosopher whose work has influenced his contemporaries and future generations of writers and artists, naturalists and environmentalists, philosophers and politicians. Thoreau was born and lived in Concord, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard and worked intermittently as a teacher and surveyor and in the family’s pencil manufacturing business. He was a member of the Concord School of Transcendentalists and an avid naturalist. He published several articles and books to mediocre success...
8 Pages(2000 words)Essay
WALDEN, OR LIFE IN THE WOODS BY HENRY DAVID THOREAU
...Thoreau’s Walden- A connection of the woods and civilization Henry David Thoreau was a factory worker, essay writer and teacher before he was a writer. He was also a Transcendentalist and an active supporter of stopping slavery. Most of all, he had a passion for nature and the environment. It is his passion for nature and his Transcendentalist beliefs that can be seen most in his writing. Thoreau’s voluntary determination to live in a small self-built home in the wilderness, well away from all other people, illustrates his dedication to the Transcendental idea that possessions and concentration upon material wealth was nothing more...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
Transcendentalism in Walden by Henry David Thoreau
... Transcendentalism in Walden by Henry David Thoreau “What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true to-day mayturn out to be falsehood to-morrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields” (Thoreau, 7). One of the basic principles in transcendentalism is considering worry as a form of foolishness. What can be considered today as valuable may be considered insignificant tomorrow. It is not just Thoreau who exemplified that way of thinking but also Ralph Waldo Emerson via the statement, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” (Reuben, ch. 4). Advices may be given by adults to the youths however there is not much of credibility in them... of the...
6 Pages(1500 words)Research Paper
Henry David Thoreau Civil Disobedience
...Henry David Thoreau, “Civil Disobedience” “Civil Disobedience” is a political essay written by David Thoreau, an American transcendentalist. This essay is divided into three sections. In this essay Thoreau emphasized on the rights of human beings to not allow the governments to play havoc with their consciences. He wrote this essay to inform the citizens that if they let the governments play with their conscience; injustice, slavery and anarchy are inevitable. That is why this essay is also entitled as “Resistance to Civil government”. David Thoreau wrote this essay because he was revolted by the...
8 Pages(2000 words)Research Paper
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.
Let us find you another Essay on topic Henry David Thoreau and Walden for FREE!
Contact Us