Thoreau challenged his readers to experience nature first hand; he felt to truly experience nature was a way of experiencing God and marveled at the happiness it can bring. In his novel Walden he writes of the happiness and contentment he feels while listening to the birds in the chapter titled "Sounds." His happiness is short-lived when it is interrupted by the sound of a train driving through the countryside. The reader gathers that, like many Transcendentalists, Thoreau is against the Industrial Revolution taking place in America. He felt this industrialization would poison nature and complicate life even more than it already was. The poisoning of nature would effect the connection a person could have with God as well.
Thoreau wrote about living a simple and uncomplicated life in Walden. He argues against the things that mark status in American society, owning land, dressing in fashion, and earning a high pay. Thoreau reasoned th...
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...be content with just being average. He states that each person who explores themselves will be individual from one another. Each person should be concerned with only his business and motivations. Individuality was important to Thoreau. He had no concerns of what other people thought about his actions or ways of living and felt this made his life less complicated and simpler to concentrate on more important things.
Thoreau was truly a Transcendentalist. He focused on the individual and the relationship he has with himself, nature, and God. He felt living simply and plainly would free him to gain a greater understanding of the world around him. Understanding of the world around you could only come after gaining a greater understanding of yourself. Once a person let get of the constraints of society were they free to begin to explore themselves and the world.
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