The Self in Walden Essay

707 Words Nov 3rd, 2014 3 Pages
In Walden, Henry David Thoreau writes of his experiences living in a cabin in the woods in his pursuit for solitude, self-reliance and greater self-awareness. Similarly, in this particular passage, Thoreau urges the reader to be unperturbed by daily happenings and to live and let live as one with nature. Thoreau’s underlying message of self-sufficiency is apparent through his usage of diction as well as natural imagery as metaphors. In this way, this passage is typical of the wider text. Firstly, Thoreau implores the reader to strive to do his or her best under any given circumstance and not be affected by insignificant events, or societal pressures. The passage opens by requesting we “spend one day as deliberately as Nature” and not be …show more content…
Furthermore, the instability of mud and slush is contrasted to the solidity of the rocks representative of reality, once again indicating Thoreau’s criticism of society’s pretensions. Also, perhaps by choosing to use natural imagery, Thoreau is calling for a return to nature – the basics – and a simpler life, as his reverence for nature can perhaps be seen in how he chooses to capitalise the word, drawing attention to it. In addition, Thoreau’s choice of diction seems to exemplify the sort of reflection he hopes individuals will undergo in order to attain higher self-awareness. The usage of questions interlaced between sentences beginning with “If” provides the reader opportunity for contemplation. Thoreau sets up hypothetical situations in order to engage the reader before advising on what one should do. This allows the reader to take ownership of his or her own thought process, the resulting increase in self-reflection perhaps being Thoreau’s method of bringing about greater self-awareness. Furthermore, Thoreau’s usage of diction serves to amplify the idea that man can be self-reliant. The passage opens with the phrase “Let us” and it is repeated a few times throughout the text. In choosing such an expression, Thoreau could perhaps be seen to be emulating the creation story of Genesis through the similar usage of simple language. God’s omnipotent sovereignty is seen in the usage of “Let there be…” as the phrase seems to indicate a firm decision on

Related Documents

Túy Quyền (Phần3) | Rillington Place | nintendo ds lite