Although originally written as an exposé for a small inquisitive group, Thoreau’s ‘Walden’ provides all readers with reasonable – if not slightly strange – ideas on how best to have a look at life. This memoir might not have been popular to the men of the contemporary for which it was written, but it’s surely a book that teaches one that it doesn’t take much for anyone to attain tranquility in life.
A Sheer Rejection of Materialism
Thoreau’s anti-establishment beliefs are a major reason for his decision to sojourn to Walden Pond – which later gave him the opportunity and experience needed to write his masterpiece, ‘Walden.’ Young and amateur, and only 27 years old at the time, still, that was enough for the young aspiring writer to see that society was driven by materialism and the scrambling over it.
In ‘Walden,’ Thoreau documented that, even though he didn’t accept this lifestyle, he found it hard to make any meaningful change, or worse, stay away from the whole madness.
It was at this point that a good friend of his (and this wasn’t Emerson) who saw through his pretentious appearance advised him to seek a place that blocked out all the noise. In the end, Thoreau’s sheer rejection of society’s materialistic tendencies informed his decision to retreat to Walden Pond and thankfully found the tranquility to write several books and enjoy the pristine news of nature.
A Search for Oneself
Henry David Thoreau had a brilliant academic record, but even that was hardly enough to help him discover himself as an adult. After college, Thoreau still didn’t know what to do or what path to undertake to achieve his professional dreams.
This can’t be surprising. It is, in fact, what society was and still is today. One is very likely only certain of a good job and social status if they have a sort of elite connections and influence. Thoreau, like the majority of people, didn’t have that, so he seized the liberty to search for his true purpose in life, even if that meant abandoning society for two years and leaving behind everything that he ever knew and loved.
An Abandonment of Society
This is another vital theme sub-textually buried within Thoreau’s ‘Walden.’ Upholding a different belief from society is one thing but having that courage to stand up for such belief and act upon it is another.
Thoreau, faced with this dilemma, did exactly what most people wouldn’t do, and that is abandoning life and whatever pleasures and gains of society to pursue the independence of self. He took land out in the wilderness, hand-built himself a home, and tilled the soil for food – enjoying the intrigues of nature and wildlife.
A Renewed Perspective on Life
By the end of Thoreau’s adventure in ‘Walden,’ he had gained tremendous enlightenment about nature and how to view the world. He had also succeeded in writing several essays and journals – all of which would later advance his scholarly career, and all of which wouldn’t have happened had he not followed his heart and stayed away from society and the noise in it.
After two years in Walden Pond and returning home to the city of Concord, Thoreau must have looked in his best shape. If not physically, then psychologically, at least. And nothing proved more evident to this case than his local Concord brethren gathering around him, compelling him to tell them his adventures in the wild.
Did Henry David Thoreau write ‘Walden’ while he was away in Walden Pond?
Thoreau wrote his first book and a few other essays and journals while he was away in Walden Pond, but it is very unlikely that he wrote ‘Walden’ there. It was after his cohorts asked for a debrief about his adventure that he wrote his experience in the form of a memoir to lecture them about it.
What important lesson can readers learn from ‘Walden’ by Henry David Thoreau?
There’s a lot for readers to learn from ‘Walden’ by Henry David Thoreau, and one of such things is the need to have a person’s dreams and ideals and pursue and achieve them, even if it comes at a huge price.
Is there any degree of racial prejudice in Thoreau’s ’Walden’?
There might have been a slight implication of racial prejudice in the play, and this can be seen when Thoreau talks of the Field and imagines he’s impoverished because, like his Irish heritage, he’s lazy and unambitious.
Walden Review: Sometimes, Unplugging From Social Reality Is The Only Way to Find True Happiness
‘Walden’ or ‘Life in the Woods’ is a true classic of American literature written by renowned philosopher, essayist, and poet Henry David Thoreau. Following a troubled start to social life which saw young Thoreau being designated as a loser and pervert, an imminent departure away from society was necessary if he was to find himself. Walden pond becomes the land of his saving grace, one which inspires him to become the great writer that the world remembers today. This masterpiece is for anyone who wants to break free from the limitations of societal rules to make some meaningful impact on their life.
- Educative and insightful
- Helps one find their true path
- Pro environmentalism
- Complex wording
- Author appears overly superior and condescending
- A pinch of racial prejudice