The Romantic Point Of View In Walden, Life In The Woods

624 words - 2 pages

In my opinion, Walden, or Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau is an excellent example of a Romantic point of view. Thoreau successfully conveys his Romantic ideas through his literature, and makes clear where he stands.

When one reads Walden carefully, one can find many of the characteristics of Romanticism in it. In from Where I Lived and What I Lived For the idea that Thoreau shuns the artificiality of civilization and seeks unspoiled nature is evident in that he seeks to live alone in the woods. As he puts it,
“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.”
He also appreciated the simplicity of life and wished not to complicate it with thousands of affairs, but rather, two or three.
“In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and
quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if
he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead
reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify.”

Also in from Where I Lived and What I Lived For one can find how Thoreau shows his appreciation for the wisdom of the past and a dislike for progress. In his last couple phrases he describes the railroads, which can be seen as a symbol for technology or advancement, these he talks about with great antipathy as he implies that no outward improvement will bring the inner peace and contentment that men seek. He suggests that the freedom that railroads are thought to represent truly bring about a type of servitude in the respect that one must conform to the train’s...

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