“Walden”Essay “Walden,” by Henry David Thoreau, atranscendentalist, is about the events of his time living at Walden Pond in the1800’s.
Thoreau, who lives a life of simplicity, tries to make a connectionbetween people, God, and Nature. He relates nature and his experiences withinit to his personal self rather than to society as a whole. Thoreau presents tohis audience a simple and inspirational guide to living.
“Walden” inspires itsreaders to not follow normal traditions, or normally imposed expectations, butto find truth and self in nature. First off, Thoreau analyzes how his lifechanges. Venturing “to the woods” because he desires “to live deliberately,”Thoreau implies he lives with purpose and thought; he wishes to face “only theessential facts of life,” indicating that he focuses on important basic aspectsof life. On his death bed, he hopes not to “discover that” he does not livelife fully. He wants to reveal its lessons. “To live and suck all the marrowout of life” indicates how he desires to delve into the meaning of life andforcefully take in the sweetest, healthiest aspects of life.
Thoreau intends”to drive life into a corner” and control it; he commands life to give him whathe wants. To “live what is not life,” Thoreau is saying that he is not livinglife to the fullest, and tries to change that by living how he wants to. Peoplelive “like ants,” Thoreau illustrates how people and he live crazy, franticlives, and how he attempts to live a simpler life. As he goes through life, hedoes “not stop and appreciate things in life.” He realizes this when he isolder that he has not been thankful for everything in life, and life itself. Intendingto live life freely, simply, kind, “and without perturbation,” Thoreau attemptsto change the way he has been living his life up to this point. Examining andgoing into further detail, about the fact that everything around him does “notchange,” he considers that he is what changes.
Next, Thoreau analyzes how he lives hislife. Rather than following “a particular route,” Thoreau believes that peopleneed to make changes in their own lives. Thoreau states that “the right oftradition and conformity” stop new ideas from growing. This shows how he wantsto break free from societal expectations, and find his own way of living.
Ifsomeone follows their “dreams,” and “lives their lives” the way they want to,Thoreau thinks they will be met “with success,” and become happy. If someonedoes not “keep pace with” norms and their peers, they will live by their ownstandards in life. His life is very unpleasant, and is filled with manyhardships, thus he does “not shun it” or run away from it. Instead, he tries toembrace his life, and change it for the better. Thoreau explains that peoplewill see and respect others success, or “heavenly lights” as he puts it, aslong as they are humble and kind to everyone. Saying that “money is notrequired,” illustrates that Thoreau sees that the best things in life arepriceless and do not cost any money.
One way that Thoreau urges his readers tofind their true selves is making one’s self the most important aspect of one’slife. He does this by disregarding public opinion in favor of privateopinion. He says that, “public opinion is a weak tyrant” as to everyone’sown opinion. Finally, Thoreau explains how Natureaffects his life. In the story, Thoreau goes to “live deliberately” in thewoods.
In doing so, this illustrates how Nature can provide an example for howto do so. Indicating that most people do not know whether it is for good or forbad, but simply follow in the idea “to glorify God,” which is mans sole purposein life. Time is not set, but is like a “stream,” it is continuously moving anddoes not stop. Thoreau implies that time does not stop, and will never stop, itis continuous. He makes a bold statement in saying that, “Earth” is but a minorpiece of a large, vast universe; thus hinting that no matter how big peoplethink they actually are, they are but “a point in space” or a speck of dust inthis world.
Many people are “big-headed” or think that they are very importantand deserve special treatment, care, or etcetera; but in reality, they mean thesame thing to the world as everybody else, everyone is equal. Heaven is in theskies “over their heads,” and also in the ground “under their feet.” Infact, Heaven is here, there, and all around us and it is nowhere that God doesnot exist. In conclusion, “Walden,” gives a guide toliving in that which includes that Thoreau himself shows how he is changing hislife for the better. This essay is a physical example of how Thoreau presentsto his audience how he lives life, and how people should try to live theirlives.
Thoreau connects life to people and people to God in this story, alsoshows how people themselves can make the connections. Walden is viewed not onlyas a philosophical treatiseon labor, leisure, self-reliance, and individualismbut also as an influential piece of nature writing. Thoreau’s description ofthe physical act of living day by day at Walden Pond gives the book authority,while his command of an elegant style helps raise the work to the level of aliterary classic. And finally, this story is a great impact onto people’slives, and helps shape the way they should live.