What T was trying to say in this paragraph was that a wall that divides humans from nature should not divide them apart. T states that even he had a a tent, he always tried to have contact with the nature (birds) and tried to be part of their world instead of making them being part of his. I really liked how he worded this, it shows the difference between buying a bird and having it domesticated at home instead of being out and both free to explore.
What a thoughtful reading of this interesting passage, Kira! The manuscript page below and the two that follow it show Thoreau’s draft in the A version:
These images are from HM 924, The Manuscript of Walden, in the Huntington Library Digital Collection.
And here are the relevant images from Versions E and F.
Reflecting on “Visitors” as Thoreau developed it between 1846 and 1854, there is a conscious effort to celebrate those individuals on the farthest vestiges of society– not unlike Thoreau himself– and to portray them in a favorable light. He suggests different types of genius in different ways of life, and doesn’t deign to place the value of one genius over another. Thoreau’s ear is impartial. He listens to everyone and everything with equal consideration. The only criticism he offers is of those whose opinions are most often trusted unequivocally by society: ministers, doctors, lawyers, and housewives. There is no reason their words should hold more weight than anyone else’s. In fact, we should doubt their opinions most of all.
Thoreau was a mite more critical of society in earlier versions of “Visitors”– he omits a dramatic passage from the original manuscript, wherein two young women fail to return the water dipper they borrowed from him, and he writes them off as “pariahs of the moral world.” The original ending of “Visitors” were the lines: “these are the folks that worry the man / that lives in the house that I built”, which is a rather pessimistic reaction to society. In later versions, he tailors this chapter around the surprising wisdom we stand to gain from genuine interactions with all people, especially those who are overlooked by society. At this time, Thoreau also helped harbor escaped slaves on their journey to freedom in Canada. Although this occurred for the most part at his parent’s house in Concord (because the house at Walden Pond was too small), he transposes this event to “Visitors”, commenting on the extent of his empathy almost ten years before the Civil War.
March 19, 2022 at 1:10 pm
Posted in: General Discussion
Okay I have been reading Paradice lost By John Milton, however me though on this line is what if it is an experiment? That is what fascinates me about society is that it is a giant social experiment that we live every day. That we as people have to work together in this world to survive.
See in context
February 25, 2022 at 10:30 am
Posted in: SNHUmans
Oftentimes people attribute small homes to a sense of closeness or homeliness. However, Thoreau attributes it to a stuffy environment, one where people can’t voice their thoughts clearly because there isn’t enough room.
February 25, 2022 at 10:27 am
A paragraph full of Greek mythology allusions, the gods he includes are all associated with medicine and healing of some kind. Curiously enough, he doesn’t include Apollo himself, the god of medicine.
February 25, 2022 at 9:58 am
An overview of Thoreau’s minimalist thoughts, he does mention Confucius teachings many times throughout Walden. From there he establishes that in life, a person doesn’t need a strict timetable of their day. Rather, living in the moment and taking your time to meander about is the best way to live.
February 25, 2022 at 1:09 am
The best example of Thoreau’s scientific observations, without his detailed notes we wouldn’t have a good idea of what the environment was like during the 1800s.
February 25, 2022 at 1:04 am
An interesting dialogue between Thoreau and the many poets of the time. The main topic of discussion between the two parties seems to be work, and how much work should be done to receive rewards and favors. In this case, it seems that only a minimal amount should be expected. The poet collects bait for fishing, while the hermit fishes. In the end, the two enjoy each other’s company as friends with the transaction of labor complete.
February 25, 2022 at 12:52 am
A long paragraph describing Walden Pond, it shows Thoreau’s journalistic side very well. He establishes a humble scene for the pond in comparison to the sea, yet still manages to give it a flair that shines in its own way that entices the reader to visit the pond in an instant.
February 25, 2022 at 12:44 am
Thoreau’s view here is very optimistic, with the opinion that people will do no harm if there isn’t an expectation of harm. And in his case, that philosophy has held out. However, one has to ask, with today’s standards in both a moral and societal stance, would that philosophy still hold true?
February 25, 2022 at 12:38 am
In the infinite dark one can find themself and what their place in the world is. Only by disconnecting from what we find familiar can we tread a new path that leads us to the “strangeness of Nature”. What Thoreau means to say is that when we are away from what we know, we can find new things about ourselves in a spiritual sense.
February 25, 2022 at 12:29 am
Homeopathic, a word normally used in the medical world, means to ingest a poisonous or potentially poisonous item in small amounts. In the case of the village gossip, Thoreau sees it as a necessary cleanser. Spending too much time in nature can lead to taking it for granted, so Thoreau comes to the village to remind himself why nature is so essential in one’s own life.
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