An analysis of thoreaus high regards for nature

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An analysis of thoreaus high regards for nature

Thoreau recounts his personal quest to demonstrate to his readers the possibility of surmounting the obstacles that materialistic society places in the path of the individual.

A comparison of crime and punishment and othello in literature In writing Nature, Emerson drew upon material from his journals, sermons, and lectures.
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Connections It criticizes American social institutions and policies, most prominently slavery and the Mexican-American War. Thoreau begins his essay by arguing that government rarely proves itself useful and that it derives its power from the majority because they are the strongest group, not because they hold the most legitimate viewpoint.

He does not — cannot — spell out for the reader the spiritual truth that lies at the end of the journey. He focuses on the search itself and the compelling need to make it. Walden chronicles spiritual growth, but the progress of this growth is not linear. It has peaks and valleys, periods of latency as well as of inspired perception.

In "Economy," Thoreau explains his purpose in going to live at the pond. He distinguishes between the outer man — the ephemeral physical being that "is soon ploughed into the soil for compost," and the inner man.

He points out the forces that dull and subjugate the inner man, materialism and constant labor in particular.


We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake. I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor. In the "Conclusion," Thoreau urges us to seek "our own interior.

He encourages the reader to begin right now. We tend to "esteem truth remote, in the outskirts of the system, behind the farthest star.

God himself culminates in the present moment, and will never be more divine in the lapse of all the ages. And we are enabled to apprehend at all what is sublime and noble only by the perpetual instilling and drenching of the reality which surrounds us.

Our existence occupies one moment in the continuity of time "Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in," Thoreau writes at the end of "Where I Lived.

From any particular point of existence, the universal is accessible. By living deliberately, self-reliantly, and independently in the present, we may transcend the limits of time, "walk with the Builder of the universe.

Life at Walden Pond provides Thoreau with the opportunity to journey into himself, into nature, and into the divine, but other men may have approaches of their own, reflecting their particular conditions and circumstances.

Even for Thoreau, his Walden experiment is only one expression of the spiritual impulse. As he explains in the "Conclusion," he leaves Walden because he has "several more lives to live," and can spare no more time for the one he has so fully described in his book. He does not prescribe living at Walden as a remedy for the spiritual ills of others; he offers it only as an example.

Thoreau uses an astonishing range of metaphors to characterize the spiritual quest. It represents the reality of nature, an expression of the divine, human potential for clear perception and understanding, and the mystery of the universe, which, although vast, may nevertheless be approached and understood.

The imagery of morning and light in Walden suggests increased perception, insight, and inspiration. And the sand foliage in "Spring" represents the work of the creator, evident to man through nature. Thoreau presents the spiritual journey of Walden in relation to the cycle of the seasons.

The two years of his actual stay at Walden are compressed into a single year to provide narrative coherence and movement and to build toward the presentation of rebirth in "Spring.

His mood is integrally connected to season. Winter, a time of spiritual dormancy, slows the journey. At the beginning of "The Pond in Winter," he awakens in a state of anxiety, with "the impression that some question has been put to me, which I have been endeavoring in vain to answer in my sleep.

There are seasons in the development of individual men and mankind as a whole, as well as in nature. In "Higher Laws," Thoreau discusses preoccupation with hunting and fishing as one stage in the evolution toward spiritual consciousness. The man who has "seeds of a better life in him" may progress to a broader, more poetic understanding of the natural world, and ultimately achieve true spirituality.

Thoreau observes in certain individuals — fishermen, hunters, and woodchoppers — the ability to perceive the reality of nature clearly, and evidence of higher capacities as well. Openness to change and to new perspectives is necessary to elevate the rudimentary link with nature to a higher plane of awareness and understanding.

As Thoreau writes in "The Village," we need to be lost to "appreciate the vastness and strangeness of Nature," to "begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations. Field cannot decide whether he wants to go fishing.

When he actually makes up his mind to do so, he proves a poor fisherman. He cannot even begin the spiritual journey at the most elemental level.By , he had begun to set his first draft of Walden down on paper. After leaving Walden, he expanded and reworked his material repeatedly until the spring of , producing a total of eight versions of the book.

James Munroe, publisher of A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (), originally intended to publish Walden as well. Unlike the uses of nature described in "Commodity," the role of nature in satisfying man's desire for beauty is an end in itself.

Beauty, like truth and goodness, is an expression of God. But natural beauty is an ultimate only inasmuch as it works as a catalyst upon the inner processes of man.

The individual's awareness of self, of nature, and of higher purpose provides the key to surpassing animal nature. The reconciliation of animal and spiritual — if sublimation can be considered reconciliation — takes place through human understanding.

In Where I Lived & What I Lived For, Thoreaus response towards nature is of admiration and value. His respect for nature is almost religious.

This is depicted in the way he describes his love and adoration for nature.

An analysis of thoreaus high regards for nature

Thoreau is surrounded by nature and feels relaxed and relieved when h. The article about Henry Thoreau was in regards to the theory of Civil Disobedience, and his role in the creation of that theory.

Frederick Douglass lived from until He was a slave in Maryland, and was under the custody of Mr. Thoreau, Emerson, and Transcendentalism; Summary and Analysis; Table of Contents. All Subjects. What Is Transcendentalism? Emerson's "Nature" Summary and Analysis and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams.

Higher Laws -- from Walden by Henry Thoreau, with Notes and Analysis