Mysticism In Thoreau's Walden

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As a different quest to find a utopia within nature, in Thoreau’s Walden, Thoreau retreats into nature in an effort to separate himself from society and to find a greater sense of truth within himself by living simply and ethically. Unlike Hawthorne’s attempt at building a utopia, Thoreau’s Walden has grounds in reality. Although a sense of mysticism still works through in his search for God within nature, the experiment at Walden finds more success than Blithedale but still ultimately ends in failure. Overall, Walden is an experiment on self-reliance and a look into the simplicity of all things in nature and individualism. Believing that society has come to institutionalize life and absorb the individual, Thoreau believes that each man must …show more content…
He makes a point to differentiate between loneliness and solitude because one can still feel alone when surrounded by other people within society. He writes, “I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time. To be in company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating...I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude” (Thoreau 45). However, within the next chapter, he begins to tell of his fondness for visitors as they allow a connection with society. He still entertains guests and cherishes the companionship. Thoreau says, “I had more visitors while I lived in the woods than at any other period in my life” (47). Throughout the novel, the narrator keeps this connection with the community, never truly living in isolation away from society. Additionally, in “Visitors” he alludes to his need for community. Thoreau writes, “I think that I love society as much as most...I am naturally no hermit” (46). He must keep the sociability of human nature going, even through his isolation from society. Within “The Village” he admits his reliance on some of society’s offerings. He writes, “Every day or two I strolled to the village to hear some of the gossip which is incessantly going on there..which...was really as refreshing in its way as the rustle of leaves and the peeping of frogs” (Thoreau 55). By formerly acknowledging that one can feel the replenishment of solitude within a crowded room if one seeks to, the narrator shows that the movement away from society is thus unnecessary. An individual can, therefore, be renewed within the community as well as in nature. His continuing to enter the community to observe the citizens demonstrates that part of his personal growth occurs within society. Later in the chapter, he says that he “went to the village to get a shoe from the cobbler’s” (Thoreau 56). He still relies

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