Henry David Thoreau's Walden: Themes Of Transcendentalism
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
Thoreau’s Walden is to be read with the knowledge that it is a unified work rather than a collection of various essays because it is a rich autobiography in which he describes his time at Walden Pond in such a poetic fashion that will be missed by the reader if they view it as separate works. One of the recurring …show more content…
They are not able to explore who and what they are and are instead forced to fill a role assigned to them at a young age by their family members, much like we are forced to do with society’s standards. We are not able to think for ourselves and are instead confined to society’s beliefs of what is a good life. An obvious theme to Walden is that of transcendentalism. Henry David Thoreau is always associated to the transcendentalist movement. Transcendentalism is the philosophy or belief that says that things that are thought or things that are spiritual are more real than ordinary human experience and material things. In other words, we are deeply connected with nature and that our ideas go beyond the natural world as we see it. I saw a clear picture of transcendentalism in the chapter titled, “Conclusion”.
“Love your life, poor as it is... Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage... Superfluous wealth can buy superfluities only. Money is not required to buy one necessary of the …show more content…
It is easier for us to stay within the known than for us to travel into the unknown, but that does not mean we should not try it. Columbus sailed out to the unknown and ended up finding something far better than what he expected to find and this is something we can apply for ourselves. Sometimes all we need is to go into the unknown because it might lead us to finding something far better than what we expected. This will also allow for self-growth and discovery. This brings me to another theme in Walden, nature. Nature is obviously what inspired Thoreau to write his most famous work. The simple fact that his experiment revolved around isolating himself to a certain extent to learn more about himself and to get more in touch with nature is proof that this is an important theme for Thoreau. In the chapter titled, “Solitude”, Thoreau describes his admiration for nature.
“I experienced sometimes that the most sweet and tender, the most innocent and encouraging society may be found in any natural object, even for the poor misanthrope and most melancholy man. There can be no very black melancholy to him who lives in the midst of