Loneliness And Loneliness In Henry David Thoreau's Walden

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The term solitude is often defined as the act or state of being alone, which in turn, is associated with loneliness and isolation. In Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, however, the term solitude takes on a much deeper meaning. To illustrate, Solitude is the fifth chapter in Walden, a book about self-discovery through acts of transcendentalism. Furthermore, this chapter is focused around the idea that solitude is rather a state of mind instead of a specific circumstance. According to Thoreau, solitude is found everywhere, and for the most part, people are often loneliest when surrounded by others. In other words, Solitude not only addresses how one can feel wholesome when isolated and immersed in nature, but also how one can feel entirely lonely when apart of meaningless interaction. To continue, Solitude commences with the statement, “This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense and imbibes…show more content…
Like stated prior, although Thoreau, for the most part, is completely isolated in nature, he never feels truly lonely:
Why should I feel lonely? Is not our planet in the Milky Way? This which you put seems to me not to be the most important question. What sort of space is that which separates a man from his fellows and makes him solitary? I have found that no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another. What do we want most to dwell near to? (109)
These lines portray that loneliness is merely a state of mind rather than a physical circumstance. Not only, but the line “I have found that no exertion of the legs can bring two minds much nearer to one another,” proves that while two individuals can physically be close, it does not mean that they are close intellectually (109). In other words, Thoreau not only believes that genuine loneliness derives from meaningless, mindless interaction, but also that solitude enables self-discovery and true
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