Henry D. Thoreau's Views On Nature, Society, And Man.

1520 words - 6 pages

Thoreau Views on Nature, Society, and ManHenry David Thoreau's life began on July 12, 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts. At a young age he began to show an interest in writing. In 1833, at the age of sixteen, Thoreau was accepted to Harvard University. Although his parents could not afford the cost of tuition, his family offered to help with the funds, and in August he entered Harvard. In 1837 he graduated and applied for a teaching position at a public school in Concord. However, he refused to flog children as punishment. He choose instead to deliver moral lectures. The community looked down upon this, and a committee was asked to review the situation. They decided that the lectures were not ample punishment, so they ordered Thoreau to flog disobedient students. With disapproval he lined up six children after school that day, flogged them, and handed in his resignation. He felt that physical punishment should have no part in education. In 1837, Henry David Thoreau began to write his journal. It started out as a literary notebook, but later developed into a work of art. In it Thoreau recorded his thoughts and discoveries about life. From 1841 to 1843 and again between 1847 and 1848 Thoreau lived as a member of the Emerson's household. In early 1845 Thoreau decided to make a journey to nearby Walden Pond, where Emerson had recently purchased a plot of land. He built a small cabin overlooking the pond, and from July 4, 1845 to September 6, 1847 Thoreau lived at Walden Pond (World Book 266). In that time period Thoreau attempts to understand something's about man's struggle with nature, society, and oneself in his writings of Walden and "Civil Disobedience."Henry David Thoreau focused his writings on how man was affected by nature. He wrote from an autobiographical point of view revealing his own internal conflict with mans struggle against nature. In his novel Walden, he reveals his mental and spiritual beliefs through a personal journey in which he strives to become in tune with nature, working not to be victorious over these universal forces, but rather to participate in harmony with nature, in tern exposing love and truth. By using nature as an entity to explain certain truths of human existence, he stresses the essential role that nature plays in society and the importance of man's relationship to nature. Thoreau focuses on nature as a "reflection of an inner spiritual reality." He believes nature to be the highest physical reality on Earth; transcending human experience and only by understanding nature can a person understand oneself. He would most likely agree that visual representatives of nature are the keys to deepening human understanding of existence. He says that "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is dear, nor did I...

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