Henry David Thoreau 's Walden Essay example

782 Words May 4th, 2015 4 Pages
Henry David Thoreau writes in Walden, “A written word is the choicest of relics. It is something at once more intimate with us and more universal than any other work of art. It is the work of art nearest to life itself. It may be translated into every language, and not only be read but actually breathed from all human lips; –not be represented on canvas or in marble only, but be carved out of the breath of life itself (Thoreau 73).” Indeed, to Thoreau, the study of words and the origin of language represented the very study of truth itself. Subsequently, over the course of his lifetime he dedicated countless hours to the study of language and semiotics. During his stint at Walden Pond, Thoreau deliberately and intentionally studied the language of the natural world: an experience culminating with the conception of his magnum opus, Walden.
As we study the text of Walden, we are exposed to some of the most carefully articulated concepts concerning the relationship of the natural world and human communication and language. A considerable portion of Thoreau’s time at Walden Pond is spent studying the language of Nature. Henry also took the opportunity afforded by his wilderness solitude to immerse himself in fantastical worlds of words; those crafted by his fellow writers. Just as “Alexander carried the Iliad with him on his expeditions in a precious casket” (Throeau 73), Thoreau brought the classical works of his favorite authors to his retreat at Walden Woods. While molding…

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