In 1845, July 4, he decided to move and reside at Walden Pond, which is located in Concord, Massachusetts about 18 miles northwest of Boston. Living in Walden for two years, Henry David Thoreau wrote the book Walden or Life in the Woods, summarizing his experience, his living in Walden, far away from society. Live life rather than let life live you. Certain individuals might think that we are living life just because we are alive. To Henry David Thoreau (philosopher and creative artist), living life was living a natural life that the majority of people are not living.
Natural life means reawaking and expanding the human’s awareness, observing and discovering something that exists in science, which is more than unusual and difficult to understand. Discovering and reawaking something hidden is similar to giving a life to something that already exists, adding more imagination and creativeness. Walden by Henry David Thoreau is an American classic. The book is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery. Was Henry a hermit?
I think he choose to isolate himself from society to gain more objectiveness about life. The whole project was inspired by transcendentalist philosophy, such as existing above or beyond human knowledge or understanding, a central theme of the American Romantic period. In his first and largest chapter, “Economy”, he outlines his project, “A two-year and two-months stay at the cozy tightly shingled cottage in the woods near Walden Pond. ” I think that separation from the civilization gives a chance to reanalyze the entire life.
Living in Walden was productive for Thoreau. In the chapter “Where I lived and what I lived for” chapter he describes how he was writing every day. And that time in Walden was his most productive as a writer. Another important purpose of his separation from society was realizing an importance and beneficial effect of solitude. “I never found the companion that was as companionable as solitude. ”(Thoreau 177). Walden emphasizes the importance of solitude and closeness to nature. Walden is not an environmental book.
It is about one man’s attempt to find the principles by which the life is a proper life. “Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself…” (Thoreau 132). Henry Thoreau was enjoying every given morning, accepting is as a gift from nature. That was his chance to be closer to innocence. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swatch and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world….. (Thoreau 135). Thoreau wanted to get the most from his life by determining what was really important, and he did that by removing himself somewhat from the normal life of Concord, MA in the 1840’s. One side of this was economical; he reduced his material needs by living simply, so that he would not have to spend much time supporting a lifestyle that he did not need or care about. The other side was spiritual, not unlike the spiritual retreats of eastern and western religions.
He liked it so much that he lived in his cabin for more than two years, and came back with a great story. He worked on this story for several years after leaving the pond, until it became Walden as we know it today. By writing a Walden, Henry Thoreau gave a life to those two years and two months he spent in the woods. He dedicated his life to the exploration of nature, not as a backdrop of human activity, but as living. He was divinely conscious of the enthusiasm of Nature, the emotion of the rhythms and the harmony of her solitude.
In Nature Henry found an analogy to the Transcendentalism. He did not study the Nature; otherwise it could make him dogmatic. He loved Nature. “WHO nearer Nature’s life would truly come Must nearest come to him of whom I speak; He all kinds knew,—the vocal and the dumb; Masterful in genius was he, and unique, Patient, sagacious, tender, frolicsome.
This Concord Pan would oft his whistle take, And forth from wood and fen, field, hill, and lake, Trooping around him in their several guise, The shy inhabitants their haunts forsake: Then he, like ? op, man would satirize, Hold up the image wild to clearest view Of undiscerning manhood’s puzzled eyes, And mocking say, “Lo! mirrors here for you: Be true as these, if ye would be more wise. ” Works Cited Book: Henry, Thoreau. Walden. Penguin Classics, 1985. Web Site: Amos Bronson Alcott. American Transcendentalism Web. 21 January. 2010