Henry David Thoreau's Walden

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The majority of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, is about the idea of opting out of society. In the chapter “Solitude” Thoreau describes how “[his] horizon bounded by woods all to [himself]” is beautiful and solely his. As he is enjoying nature Thoreau states, “There can be no very black melancholy to him who lives in the midst of Nature” (111). This theme of being alone and appreciating nature carries throughout the entirety of the book, all leading to the fact that Thoreau believes the best way to live would be without society. Thoreau can not stand to pay his taxes because, “[he] did not pay a tax to, or recognize the authority of, the state which buys and sells men, women, and children” (145), leading to him being thrown in jail. Thoreau opted…show more content…
Thoreau says that “[he] [has] lived some thirty years on this planet, and [he] [has] yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from [his] seniors” (8) as though there hasn’t been a single person before him to have good advice; yet there have been many philosophers and teachers with great words of advice about the how the universe works. This is a jump from Thoreau’s statement but it still poses a very big question and also a very big problem. What happens when humans start to play God? Truth and what is true, is simply a construct of what humans as a society have deemed as right from wrong, fact from fiction, and necessary to unnecessary. It is a proven fact that a human needs water to survive, it is one hundred percent true that if someone were to state “Humans do not need water to survive” then that someone would most definitely be wrong. But if instead they were to state “The universe was created by the Big Bang” there would be people who saw that as truth and those who saw it as a lie. The church would say “but you’re a Christian, that means that you believe God created the universe” and in reply a person could say, “ but doesn’t that just mean that God created the Big Bang”. In one simple sentence, they would have just shattered two opposing sides argument, that God and science are not one in the same. Now…show more content…
This shows how powerful and terrifying the human brain is. The human brain named itself, it has all the power to reason and expound upon how the universe was created but we still don’t entirely understand how it works and that makes us very scared, and that fear makes us dangerous. Society uses the power of the human mind to justify the enslavement of others, not much can be more terrifying. We meddle in other people/countries affairs and cause wars and chaos all for the sake of being the victors, all so we can create truth. But what about that one child who opted out. What about that one child like Thoreau, who chose not to follow what society told his was true, who didn’t do as society commanded but simply opted not to be the one of the victors. Doesn’t that make him a victor in his own right? Thoreau knew what was necessary to his survival, he even mentioned it as items that are “necessary of life”, to him these items were beans, water, shelter, and time to read or do nothing. But did he ever think at Walden pond that maybe thinking about the existential wasn’t a “necessity of life” that maybe humans are made to live by water and bread alone. Maybe the human mind needs education, and maybe that
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