Walden Essay

534 WordsMar 18, 20123 Pages
In Walden, Henry David Thoreau instigates multiple interpretations of the text within the reader’s mind. Descriptions within the book portray a simple lifestyle within nature. These accounts state nature’s aesthetic significance on Earth. However, the text can also be assumed as a denunciation towards the modern world. Collectively, Walden addresses two major themes, nature and criticism of the modern world. The novel is predominantly centered on nature. Thoreau strongly emphasizes nature via the details included regarding his life at Walden Pond. For example, Thoreau explains to the reader that “the sun’s ray have attained the right angle, and warm winds blow up mist and rain and melt the snow banks, and the sun dispersing the mist” (Thoreau 902). Clearly, Thoreau uses vivid imagery to recreate the nature he witnessed first-hand. Furthermore, he continues to discuss how he saw “the tantivy of wild pigeons, flying by two and threes athwart my view, or perching restless on the white pine boughs behind my house, giving a voice to the air” (883-884). Thoreau discusses nature’s aesthetic beauty in vibrant detail, leaving no sense untouched. Nature performs a central role throughout the novel. In addition to revealing nature as essential figure within Walden, Thoreau uses his perception of nature to criticize modern man. Referring back to an earlier quotation, Thoreau describes the melee between the red and black ants; it is evident that he uses this natural incident to criticize humans. While the ants savagely slashed at one another, Thoreau defines the insignificant chips that resulted in the bloodstained altercation. This metaphor, displays how man engages in battle over impractical and trivial causes. As Thoreau recalls an occurrence where “the red ant…was assiduously gnawing at the near fore leg of his enemy” he connects the pure savageness of ants with the

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