December 18, 2013
Leave a comment on paragraph 1 2
Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0
Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0
Leave a comment on paragraph 4 1
Leave a comment on paragraph 5 1
Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0
Create an account to leave a comment
Posted in: Panel of Experts
[WALDEN; OR, LIFE IN THE WOODS]
Although the first edition gives the title Walden; or, Life in the Woods, on March 4, 1862, two months before he died, T wrote to his publishers, Ticknor & Fields, asking them to omit the subtitle in a new edition. They complied with this request, although it has rarely been followed since. Paul (75) suggests that T may have dropped the subtitle because he feared his audience was taking it too literally and thus missing the more important philosophy permeating the book. T could have derived the subtitle from his friend Charles Lane’s essay “Life in the Woods” in the Dial (IV, 1844, 415) or from John S. Williams, “Our Cabin; or, Life in the Woods” in the October 1843 American Pioneer (DeMott), but not from the then popular The Adirondack; or Life in the Woods, by J.T. Headley (New York, 1849), which did not appear until after T had used the subtitle in an advertisement for W in the back pages of the first edition of A Week. For a comprehensive study of the types of books on which T base the structure of W, see Linck Johnson. For a discussion of the organic structure of W, see Lane (1960). Kurtz is one o the most straightforward analyses of W’s style.
Posted in: General Discussion
Is there any possibility of Thoreau borrowing from the Christian tradition and positing “the woods” as a corollary of “wilderness”, where the demons (in us) are often portrayed and living? To reach one’s “higher self”, one must wake up inwardly to those elements that lead the soul (psychological and emotional state) astray.
Find references in JSTOR articles
The drawing of T’s cabin was made by his sister Sophia, an amateur artist. T himself complained of it, “Thoreau would suggest a little alteration, chiefly in the door, in the wide projection of the roof at the front; and that the bank more immediately about the house be brought out more distinctly” (Sanborn, 1917, 338). Sanborn adds, “He must have noticed that her trees were first and pines, with a few deciduous tress that did not then grow there.” Ellery Channing thought it a “feeble caricature.” Other contemporary drawings of the cabin may be found in Meltzer and Harding (144-5).
[to wake my neighbors up]
The epigraph is quoted from the second chapter of W. It is omitted from many modern editions, and unfortunately so, for it sets the mood for the whole book. Broderick (1954) points out how this awakening and morning theme is a basic image carried throughout W. A possible source for T’s idea is Orestes Brownson’s statement in his Boston Quarterly Review in 1839 that he “aimed to startle, and made it a point to be as paradoxical and extravagant as he could.”
December 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm
See in context
January 3, 2014 at 5:25 pm
January 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm
January 3, 2014 at 5:18 pm
September 20, 2018 at 11:13 am
Posted in: ENGL 203 Geneseo F18
[ Leave a comment on paragraph 4 10 I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one. ]
I like this idea of living a life beyond the one in which you where given. To live.
September 20, 2018 at 10:20 am
[Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.]
Thoreau critiques the value on labor over individuality.
September 20, 2018 at 12:45 am
[ Snipes and woodcocks also may afford rare sport; but I trust it would be nobler game to shoot one’s self.]
Having previous knowledge of the fact that he was a advocate for nature reserves, we can conclude that his opinion on hunting for sport is the contrary of positive.
September 20, 2018 at 12:38 am
[Yet we think that if rail-fences are pulled down, and stone-walls piled up on our farms, bounds are henceforth set to our lives and our fates decided]
I think Thoreau is trying to communicate that obstacles or certain circumstances prevent people from achieving much. When presented with a blockade or restriction, we give up and “bounds are henceforth set to our lives”.
September 19, 2018 at 8:44 pm
[They never molested me seriously, though they bedded with me; and they gradually disappeared, into what crevices I do not know, avoiding winter and unspeakable cold.]
Thoreaus language is very peculiar…during his time was this common?
September 19, 2018 at 7:54 pm
[I was witness to events of a less peaceful character. One day when I went out to my wood-pile, or rather my pile of stumps, I observed two large ants, the one red, the other much larger, nearly half an inch long, and black, fiercely contending with one another. Having once got hold they never let go, but struggled and wrestled and rolled on the chips incessantly. Looking farther, I was surprised to find that the chips were covered with such combatants, that it was not a duellum, but a bellum, a war between two races of ants, the red always pitted against the black, and frequently two red ones to one black. The legions of these Myrmidons covered all the hills and vales in my wood-yard, and the ground was already strewn with the dead and dying, both red and black. It was the only battle which I have ever witnessed, the only battle-field I ever trod while the battle was raging; internecine war; the red republicans on the one hand, and the black imperialists on the other. On every side they were engaged in deadly combat, yet without any noise that I could hear, and human soldiers never fought so resolutely. I watched a couple that were fast locked in each other’s embraces, in a little sunny valley amid the chips, now at noon-day prepared to fight till the sun went down, or life went out.]
This description of this battle is much like humans. Previously Thoreau seems to indicate that nature is almost harmless and harmonies in a sense, but this illustration shows that it can be brutal too. So are we as humans already apart of nature? Something that Thoreau says is not yet true.
September 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm
[The mice which haunted my house were not the common ones, which are said to have been introduced into the country, but a wild native kind (Mus leucopus) not found in the village. I sent one to a distinguished naturalist, and it interested him much. When I was building, one of these had its nest underneath the house, and before I had laid the second floor, and swept out the shavings, would come out regularly at lunch time and pick up the crumbs at my feet. It probably had never seen a man before; and it soon became quite familiar, and would run over my shoes and up my clothes]
Why is he ok with this?….
September 19, 2018 at 7:20 pm
To progress, learn, and educate is to sculpt the mind and body.
September 19, 2018 at 6:59 pm
This claim of what is truly “civilized” in Thoreaus eyes pegs the reflection of nature itself. Thoreau feels not eating animals will show the true civilization of a group of people, however is this the true reflection of nature and it cycle?
September 19, 2018 at 6:45 pm
[ We cannot but pity the boy who has never fired a gun; he is no more humane, while his education has been sadly neglected. This was my answer with respect to those youths who were bent on this pursuit, trusting that they would soon outgrow it. No humane being, past the thoughtless age of boyhood, will wantonly murder any creature, which holds its life by the same tenure that he does. ]
It seems as though Thoreau here is explaining that the older one gets the more he loses his humanity, because he in a sense at his adolescent age is closes to it.
Register to join a group and leave comments.