Simplicity Essay

854 words - 3 pages

In today’s society there exists an imaginary boundary between civilization and nature. Most modern people grow complacent from having technology in their arm’s reach that they fail to enjoy the true beauty that surrounds them on a daily basis. Author Henry D. Thoreau grew tired of the complexities of society and escape to nature where he realizes the simple life is key. Through Thoreau’s escapism from society’s snares of materialism and religion, he is able to discover that nature is eternal and life is best lived through simplicity.
Thoreau lived in a world where people focused on what he has; instead of, who he is. Thoreau believed people were blinded by their possessions and accolades that they fail to interact with earthly delights. For instance, when Thoreau finds himself stranded in the rain he meets John Field and his family; Thoreau quickly realizes that John is unable to achieve enlightenment like Thoreau and writes that “With his horizon all his own, yet he a poor man, born to be poor, with his inherited Irish poverty or poor life” (196). To Thoreau, John Field represents the bottom of society as being both an Irish immigrant that gets discriminated by having such a meager job as “bogging” for a neighbor, and Thoreau is convinced that the poor Irish farmer and his family are nothing but chained to the oppression of society and there is no escaping for them. In addition, Thoreau believed that people concern themselves too much with what the mass thinks and they need entrust in their own principles when he writes, “Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What a man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his faith” (6).
Thoreau urges others to find spiritual awakening when he exclaims, “We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn…,” (85). In addition, Thoreau compares the men who labor without thinking to rails, “The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them [,] they are sound sleepers, I assure you,” (87). Thoreau conveys the point to undo the spiritual awakening in the seventeenth century, and to free the New Englanders from the shackles of thought forged by traditional religion and to awaken in a more spiritual reality. Also, Thoreau shouts for, “Simplicity, Simplicity, Simplicity,” because people are being overly pedantic in life and that they should simplify for personal discovery. In addition, literary critic Brian Treanor discusses, “for Thoreau, simplicity is...

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