WaldenTone Essay Research Paper In Walden Henry

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Walden-Tone Essay, Research Paper In Walden, Henry David Thoreau s tone , his attitude towards the subject, has two aspects. His attitude towards nature was a positive one of respect and amazement. His attitude towards the reader, the general public, or the average citizen changes through the course of the work from pitying to criticizing to reassuring and advising. Thoreau viewed nature as a teacher; he did, after all, journey to Walden pond to front only the essential facts of life and learn what (nature) had to teach. (66) This attitude that nature is the teacher and we are the students continued throughout Thoreau s tale. Thoreau explained that men go into the world at first as a hunter, a fisher until at last…he distinguishes his proper objects, as a poet or

naturalist… The mass of men are still and always young in this respect (149). He depicted nature in a positive tone; he had good things to say about both the phases of the day and the seasons of the year. He describe the morning, the most memorable season of the day (64) and the delicious evening (90). He depicted the gentle rain that watered his plants (92) and some of his most enjoyable hours , occurring during the long rainstorms in spring or fall (93). In the winter he weathered some merry snowstorms and spent some cheerful winter evenings by his fireside while the snow whirled without. (172) Spring was the phenomenon that is more exhilarating than any other season because Walden lives again .(205) Thoreau depicted nature with a tone of wonder and amazement. He felt that

nobody could fully comprehend nature s role in life. He said that we know only a few of nature s laws (194), and that, with regards to the wonders of nature, nobody knows, but many pretend to know. (124) He approached nature as a divine presence on earth, comparing various trees to temples and round tables of the gods . He compared berries to wild forbidden fruits, too fair for mortal tastes. Thoreau said that these were the shrines he visited both in the summer and in the winter (137) He truly believed that the earth we tread is as promising as heaven itself, proclaiming that heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads (189). Thoreau stressed that we can never have enough nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the

sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and decaying trees, the thunder cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and provides freshets. (211) Thoreau had the attitude that all of nature- whether it appears to be helpful or harmful- fits into a mater plan, one that is designed for all. Unlike his attitude towards nature, Thoreau s attitude towards other people changes through the course of Walden. When the story begins, Thoreau displayed a feeling of pity towards his fellow man who lead lives of quiet desperation. (10) He believes that the better part of a mans existence is plowed into the soil for compost (8); the average person is inevitably lost in the machinery we call society. He also said that he felt sorry for those whose misfortune it is to have

inherited…for (possessions ) are more easily acquired than gotten rid of. (10) Those who inherit are draw further into the materialism that characterizes today s society. Thoreau s tone gradually shifts towards criticism and skepticism. In the second chapter, Thoreau explained that a man is rich in proportion to the things he can afford to let alone but most of our lives are frittered away by detail (60). He criticized those who simply accepted society s goals and values asking why should we knock under and go with the stream? (70) In the next chapter Thoreau criticized the literary preferences of his fellow towns people and education in general, saying that most had no taste for the best… in literature (the classics) (76). He stated with a tint of humorous cynicism that most