Walden - The American Economy

Walden - The American Economy

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Walden - The American Economy
    When the American people think of the word economy; money and the
government often come to mind.  In Greek Eco means the household and Nomy
means to manage something.  So why do American's tend to think of money and
ownership when they think of the word "Economy?" Are Americans mearly living
a career or are they living some other narrowly focused routine?  Is a
worthwhile lifestyle being lived?  In Walden by Henry David Thoreau, Thoreau
describes what is wrong with the American culture and society and how
solitude can make the human pure.
    Thoreau sets out to build a house in the woods to try and demonstrate
that every person can live a simple life.  When he begins his stay at Walden
Pond he only has an ax that he has borrowed.  His house is built and he moves
in on July 4, 1845 (420)..  He becomes very familiar with nature and his
surroundings and less familiar with the humane society.  According to Moss,
"He views the ponds as pure, sacred wells and as places for spirtual renewal"
(421).  He feels that the soal needs to be cleansed in order to discover the
real meaning of life and be able to enjoy it.  Too many people are content
with the surface of life and merely following tradition.  Thoreau wants
people to look deeper into nature.
    Throughout Throreau's stay at Walden Pond, he encourages America to take
a deeper look at life.  Thoreau begins his essay with an explanation of
exactly why he went to stay at Walen Pond.  Joyce Moss writes, "He went out
to live in the wilderness by himself- to demonstrate that it is possible to

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live comfortably while still living within one's means" (419).  Thoreau
believed that too many Americans are overburdened by their many possessions. 
During the readings, Thoreau's choice of economic imagery demonstrates how
overwhelmingly our vision of life is dominated by commercial values (Harold
Bloom 60).  The American society is extremely overwhelmed with material
things and they often seem to think that is what matters most.
    
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