Henry David Thoreau 's Walden Essay

Henry David Thoreau 's Walden Essay

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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 through every pore” (Thoreau 106). Within this line, Thoreau is recognizing his environment and taking in every detail with simplicity, allowing himself to be one with nature. Not only, but he also states, “I see nothing special to attract me, all the elements are unusually congenial to me” (Thoreau 106). Here, like stated prior, Thoreau is realizing the familiarity and simplicity of nature. He is not awed by his surroundings, but instead is simply coexisting with them. As a result of this transcendental realization, he is able to find peace and serenity within himself. Furthermore, on page 107, Thoreau begins seeing his habitat as his own “little world” and states that, “It is much Asia or Africa as New England” (107). This can be inferred as him viewing nature as a whole, rather than a sort of specific place. By having an area ...


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...y observe and be aware to what is happening. Not only, but Thoreau mentions that the only way to do this is to truly know oneself. By secluding himself in nature, Thoreau realized that he no longer needed societal standards to live comfortably, and found that comfortability often comes from inside oneself.
In conclusion, Solitude addresses the fact that one does not need societal standards to live comfortably. Many people simply live mindlessly, occupying their time with whatever is thrown their way. To Thoreau, this is truly the loneliest way to live because the individual has yet to discover their true wants and desires. In other words, by separating oneself from the common routines of society, one is able to awaken their true self. Solitude proves that although one might be completely isolated, they will never be truly lonely if they have discovered themselves.

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