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Thoreau Literary Analysis

  • Submitted by: ace0911
  • on March 22, 2012
  • Category: English
  • Length: 1,215 words

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Below is a free excerpt of "Thoreau Literary Analysis" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Aceson Mendiola
Literary Analysis 3
Thoreau Prompt 4
Henry David Thoreau was an American author whom could probably be deemed as one of the most outspoken advocates for environmentalism. Thoreau was made famous for his wild rants about nature and the wrongness of society. As a strong advocate for environmentalism, Thoreau believed that nature was the embodiment of the spiritual world and that people needed to free themselves from the burdens of society to undertake in the divinity of nature.
Thoreau believes that instead of using nature as a metaphor of the spiritual world or having it be reminiscent that the spiritual world is out there, there should already be an understanding that nature in itself is the spiritual world. In A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Thoreau questions the premise of the metaphorical use of nature, “Is not Nature, rightly read, that of which she is commonly taken to be the symbol merely?” The point Thoreau is trying to get across, is that nature gives everything needed to comprehend a higher power and to know the spiritual world, ergo there is no need to look past it. He goes on to urge people “to be always on the alert to find God in nature” (Journal, 9/7/51), and to hear “the language which all things and events speak without metaphor” (Walden, IV). Thoreau would champion the individual who would go out into nature and absorb everything around him, to actually take the time to appreciate it and by doing this comprehending it on another level.
Thoreau’s philosophical beliefs bind him to the ideals that facts and values are one in the same, and that all characteristics are of equal value, due largely to the fact that he comprehends the world as an “Organic Whole” where mind and matter are inseparable. People are not merely empty vessels that perceive senses but instead are “sentient beings” placed in a world full of stimulation for the senses (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosphy). The only way there can be true understanding...

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