Literature Notes; Walden; Chapter 2; Table of Contents

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Lecture Notes for Henry David Thoreau's Walden for an Outdoor Literature Course
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1848 - Gold discovered in California. 80,000 prospectors emigrate in 1849
1854 - Thoreau publishes Walden


Transcendental Generation: Midlife & Elders


1861 - Abraham Lincoln is sworn in as the 16th President of the United States.


Summary and Analysis Chapter 2 - Where I Lived, and What I Lived For

SparkNotes: Walden: Important Quotations Explained
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Transcendentalism which grew from the controversy brought with it some of the mysticism that the church's rational approach lacked. Transcendentalists maintained that man is not limited to belief in God based on reason, but rather that the mind can create a consciousness of God. In that regard, the mind is a powerful instrument, capable of imagination and intuition. It can imagine God. Of all of the early transcendentalists, the most important was Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson wrote and spoke extensively and believed that every man, through the power of his intellect, had the ability to become god-like.

You can see the importance of imagination in Walden when Thoreau wrote: "I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by a conscious endeavor."

Look at this passage written by Thoreau from the conclusion:


Walden on the Rocks « Mists on the Riverss

So what distinguishes Thoreau from Emerson? Well, for the Walden author, it is nature, not man, that takes center stage. Thoreau is often known as the first environmentalist or ecologist. Sure, there were already nature conservationist movements at the time, but Thoreau's Walden (first published as Walden; or Life in the Woods in 1854) was one of the earliest attempts to present these ideas as a coherent philosophy. He embraces the wildness of nature for its own sake and argues that man is obligated to conserve nature – total tree hugger.

Court Notes - News - Citizens' Voice

But back to nature, where his loyalties lie: Thoreau takes the time to explore numerous ponds in the area, including Flint's Pond and White Pond. He also checks out the local farms, like Baker Farm, where he briefly takes shelter with an Irish laborer and his family. By the fall, he notes how the colors of the trees have changed, and he prepares for the winter by finishing the chimney on his cabin. During the winter, he observes Walden Pond in its frozen state, and is careful to notice the changes occurring around him. When spring finally arrives, Thoreau writes about how the frozen earth melts right before his eyes. There are also a ton of other changes that come with spring. For example, more varieties of birds and animals are present, and pine trees begin to pollinate.

07/11/2017 · • Pasco L




Walden - A Look at our Readings

Thoreau tells us at the beginning that his book will respond to questions posed about his two-year stay at Walden. He hopes to explain the spiritually rich life he enjoyed.