Thoreau’s Walden: Chapter Two Book Analysis
In chapter two of Thoreau’s, Walden referred to as “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For,” Thoreau presents an experience about his life. He presents this after having argued in the previous chapter that his colleagues typically lives unpleasant, indecisive as well as unreasonable lives of excess. Thus he instigates his description in the second section of Walden, and he describes the manner in which he considers that men ought to live. Centered on his individual life experiences, the second chapter of Walden title is typically branded by some detractors as clichéd. The title tends to be the first of numerous paradoxes in style, tone and also the subject (Thoreau, p.32). Thoreau terms his technique of searching for a living place and even a place of steering his experiment as resulting in him living a simple life. He portrays himself as a wanderer, whereby he walks all-round the region of where he lived. It is evident from his actions and articulations that he avoided land ownership and could not want to find himself possessing a piece of land. This paper discusses the chapter two of Thoreau’s book, Walden showing how this chapter reflects and fits in the book.
Thoreau recalls how he spent a lot of time observing other individuals pieces of land, whereby he even purchased them through imagination before deciding to settle at Walden Pond. Therefore the mental and imaginary real-estate transactions provided him with some precise skill on the transactions of property. It also gave him an excellent deal of vision into the kind of home that he essentially desired. He envisions in his mind a lot of things like going to the farmers, discoursing about their farm yield and buying their produce and other goods at their request prices without many discussions. Due to his creative imaginary thoughts, he lives for some time in numerous different homes. In some point, Thoreau decides to buy some piece of land, for example, the Hallowell place, but before they come up to an agreement with the seller, he cancels it and declines to purchase it (Thoreau, p.36). Finally, he never buys any piece of land or a farm for he comprehends that the possession of the material property is in contradiction with his principle and therefore the practice would tie him down. However, Thoreau chooses to borrow a piece of land from a friend known as Emerson for conducting his experiments. His new home is situated in the woods amid Concord and Lincoln, and there exists a lovely Walden Pond immediately outside his door. He seems to be pleased by the fact that he can enjoy the beauty of the region for free.
Thoreau applicably relocates to Walden Pond on 4th July 1845, which was the Independence Day. Though his cabin in the woods is not yet completed, it gives him some comfort as well as warmth for survivability until he finishes building it. Thoreau seems to be eager to commence his experiment and also to experience the beauty and the serenity that Walden Pond consents. He primarily looks forward to the mornings for he believes that the mornings are the awakening period whereby new ambitions and super creative genius are born. According to his perceptions, all the unique things in history ought to have occurred during the mornings when a man was wide-awake (Thoreau, p.42). He further states that it is unfortunate that individuals usually spend most of their mornings doing some tasks which they dislike, and therefore they tend to be confined to a specific career and thus are incapable of enjoying the incredible natural world which surrounds them.
Several themes of the book Walden are portrayed in this chapter that makes it fit well in the book. For example the idea of sight. Thoreau likens the outlooks from the seashore hill and the obverse of his cabin. Thus as it exists, he can see up to the mountains that are located in the northwest from the hill. Also, his only physical view as from his cabin is pasture, but rendering to his imaginations, he is capable of seeing the outermost reaches of the universe besides the history. Therefore it is quite significant to accentuate that Thoreau’s authenticity is not a factual or a historical notion. The delusions of his articulations are thereby not creations of his imaginations but regard some aspects, for instance, religion and philosophy as illusory since they tend to limit and distort individuals’ immediate experience of themselves in the world.
The juxtaposition portrayed in the topic of this chapter, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For,” affords an excellent indication of Thoreau’s philosophy. According to his philosophies, the physical conditions of life are fundamentally and also inevitably tied to an individual’s spiritual life. The cabin appearance, its furniture, size and more so its location on the shoreline of the pool all add to his mental arousal (Thoreau, p.46). Due to this association between an individual’s physical besides the divine life, Thoreau’s relocation towards the shoreline of Walden Pond is essential; and therefore it is for this reason he advises his townsmen to reevaluate their physical conditions similarly.
Moreover, the theme of sleep which evident in this chapter plays a significant factor in the formation of the book. The use of sleep as a symbol and the issue of being awake as a perfect metaphor exhibits a prolonged history, particularly in the literature of New England. Therefore as it is evident from this discussion, this chapter which is the second in the Walden book fits in the development of the book.
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. Oxford University Press, 2008.
Thoreau, Henry. Where I lived, and what I lived for. Vol. 37. Penguin UK, 2005.