Thoreau And Human Nature

1001 Words 4 Pages
Can we really learn about human nature by removing ourselves from the company of other humans? Thoreau, for one, wanted to answer this same exact question, and he conducted an experiment purely based on his own experience alongside Mother Nature for two years and two months at Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. Through his experiment, Thoreau endeavored to escape the distractions and emotional clutters of society in order to get in touch with his inner self in and to find out what living really meant. As Thoreau articulates, “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. …show more content…
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion” (Henry David Thoreau Page 1028). His cherish and passion to be with Mother Nature was definitely unparalleled; nonetheless, he also strove to find a good balance between it and his social life, so he can commune with Mother Nature without cutting himself off from society …show more content…
He spends his evenings taking strolls, reading works of literature, and contemplating himself in the world. To Thoreau, this was freedom, as opposed to the “enslaved” peoples who worked for others and pursued unnecessary material possessions. Forwarding two years and two months into Thoreau’s project at Walden Pond, he eventually moved back to "civilized society." There, Thoreau notices the reactions from people to the news of his experiment, which ranged from shock of his willingness to forsake human companionship to the concern for his well-being and health out in the wilderness. Perhaps more importantly, Thoreau tells and pictures the benefits of a simplified lifestyle, recapping the times he spent there so that others might see the virtue of it. He explains that in society, a plethora of material possessions require a plethora of labor to purchase, which ultimately oppresses us spiritually with concern and anxiety. This results in the loss of inner freedom, as people 's needs pushes them to devote all their time to labor. Thoreau explains this using farmers as an example to back up his argument, suggesting that farmers are chained to their farms as prisoners are chained in jails; in working more than what is necessary, it shackles people down, causing more of a hindrance than individual amelioration. Therefore, Thoreau tells of his preference in abating one 's needs in order to

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