Where I Lived And What I Lived For By Henry David Thoreau Analysis

Improved Essays
As human existence matures through time and technology advances, humans have lost connection to nature. In Henry David Thoreau’s “Where I lived, and What I Lived for,” he explains his deliberate attempt to truly experience life by creating an authentic connecting with nature. Thoreau gambles his successful, easy life and bets on a world where he could experience the deep connection of nature through first hand experiences. Thoreau describes his journey of finding peace and fulfillment in a house, by a pond, separated from the fast past world around him. Walter Benjamin echoes similar sediments in his work “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” He stresses the need to connect to something real and tangible without separating …show more content…
Henry Thoreau suggests living deliberately connected to nature encourages humans to live deeper and richer lives. Thoreau thoroughly represents this when he states, “I went to the woods because I wish to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I cannot learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” (Walden 73). Thoreau is saying he wanted to learn what nature had to teach him and when it came time for him to die he would have experienced a fulfilling live without regrets. He also addresses the idea that simplifying life and focusing on the bare necessities creates a fulfilling and richer life. Henry Thoreau continues, “I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…” (Walden 73). In this description, Henry David Thoreau uses a metaphor to express living a complete and full life by thoroughly and completely drawing deep to what life has to offer. The human connection to nature should be nurtured and emphasized to create a fulfilling

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Search for Truth Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society.” Would you go as far to leave society in search of the meaning of life? Would you go live in the essence of nature in search of a transcendent reality outside of human experience? The movement of Transcendentalism emphasize that the study of nature enables individuals to form a connection with a transcendent reality. With this connection, all will be revealed as the truth about the unknown. The works of Thoreau and Whitman emphasize the importance of being commune with nature as an inspiration to seek the unknown.…

    • 1141 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Thoreau describes his journey into nature as an attempt to “live deliberately.” In saying this, Thoreau illustrates the notion of living for one’s own individual purpose rather than being just another cog in the machine that is society. He describes his concept of living as using nature to build on what he already understands about life. He hopes to learn something more about nature than previously possible when situated within the rest of society. At last, Thoreau finds himself alone. His intellect has been freed from the constraints of society and his reasoning ability is pure again.…

    • 1534 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Most transcendentalists feel that nature and the simplicity of the natural world are what helps them discover themselves. In Into the Wild, McCandless chooses to live in nature because he wants to be alone, and he does not want to be sedentary. He likes the excitement in life and the adrenaline that living off the basic necessities gives you (Krakauer 69). Many say that one’s life is wasted if time is not spent in nature. Emerson agrees with these ideas about nature.…

    • 1070 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Pat and Bill both want to live their lives with no regrets. Pat fell into the social norms of working, but Bill was on a search to find exactly what Chris wanted to find. Bill, like Chris, went into nature, or the wilderness, to find this feeling of fully living and tranquility. Both men had the courage to be different and live their lives in nature, how they wanted…

    • 1137 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Nature: the Clarifier Henry David Thoreau’s Where I Lived, and What I Lived For explains not only the assets but the necessity of living away from other human beings in nature to see the reality of human existence and control the mind as one controls one’s hands. Thoreau seeks to sweep away the “mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition” (Thoreau 280). He juxtaposes the ideas of where he lives and what he lives with while seeking freedom in nature. After Thoreau fully relinquishes the ropes of societal life, he finds the core values of reality. Only by stripping the everyday idea of living, does he live.…

    • 771 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In the beginning of his journey, Alex sees that a good life stems from living life authentically and searching for truth instead of temporary happiness such as familial love, money, possessions, and sex. “Living to the fullest extent” is what Alex plans to do when he embarks on his physical and spiritual journey (Krakauer 37). By going into the wild, Alex lives out his theory that people are meant to push themselves to their limits in order to discover life instead of being told how to live. In other words, people need to find their own happiness and not just heedlessly venerate the matters claimed by society to provide…

    • 1181 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In Henry David Thoreau’s experiment to living alone in the woods, Walden, or Life in the Woods, the ten components of Transcendentalism are represented in his work. They are “live life to the fullest, thou shalt not conform, individualism, do not worship the material, be your own mentor, society corrupts and individual’s inherent goodness, be one with God, not the church, simplicity, moral values, and nature is sacred” (elements). These components are what the transcendentalists went by in life. They felt in order to live a perfect life and live for God they must abide by these components. During this time period, Walden was the most well-known piece of literature.…

    • 1699 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    In conclusion McCandless was a noble idealist and that this behavior can be justified through family occasions, the risk young man seeks and romanticism. By the three topics that I have developed above I argue that McCandless actions can be justified, because of the things that affected his life. From that point we can say that McCandless move through nature to find his freedom and took odd jobs since he donated all of his money to see life. Leave away from civilization like other authors did or suggested in order to find their meaning of…

    • 1355 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He did not believe in a materialist world full of wealth. Later on in live Thoreau moved to a pond where he then began his life personally with his love for the “beauty of nature”. His personal experiences lead to reflect his view on transcendentalism, a simple kinda life. Thoreau’s personal experiences then lead him to become very important and successful in the romantic time period. In Thoreau’s essay “Walden” he expresses transcendentalism by explaining that God is everything and God made nature.…

    • 545 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Thoreau is arguably the most ardent disciple of Ralph Waldo Emerson, author of the transcendentalist essay “Nature”. Emerson, a leader of the transcendentalist movement, believed that God was within every human and could be found through nature. Thoreau puts Emerson’s beliefs into practice by moving to Walden, though he is not there necessarily to find God. Thoreau, through “Walden”, pleads for a life of “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity” (1018) and therefore moved to Walden as he “wished to live deliberately” (1017). To Thoreau living deliberately meant that man had to live a life worth living and should not think that there is not more to life than the thought that the “chief end of man here [is] to ‘glorify’ God and enjoy him forever” (1017).…

    • 1176 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays