Critical Analysis of Thoreau Walden

The Walden is an exceptional literary work that portrays Thoreau’s creativity and deep insight into life. While the work centers on nature, spirituality, and economy, the creative blend of literary tools makes it even informative. Walden explores the beauty of life from a simplified spiritual perspective. For instance, in line 17 he says, “Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable,but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind’” (Henry p.6). The power of inner spirit, interaction with natural environment, and sense of independence forms the basis of a happy and satisfactory life. In essence, the author is also the human subject in the writing but reflects the desirable characteristics of a simple, sustainable, and happy life. His presentation of the economic concepts reconciles moral needs with the reality of scarcity. He built own shelter in the woods and feel satisfied than the rest of the population that pay mortgage for housing. He argues, “To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust”,Henry p.6.In fact, Walden emphasizes the freedom associated with inner wealth than the outside material.

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The position of Walden to account for everything used and dispose items not in use is a seen as characteristic of economic progress. For instance, he patches own clothes instead of buying, build own shelter in the woods thereby effectively promoting independence. The centrality of nature in humanity is equally addressed in the Walden. In the woods, Thoreau listens to the birds and other crawling creatures while the passing train that represent modernity interrupts his comfort. In other words, the pressure of modernity is a silent disservice to internal peace among people and the overwhelming destruction of natural ecosystem for further economic expansion is costly in the long run. Thoreau receives human friends in his residence in the woods but ironically demote social interaction as less important compared to intrapersonal understanding. A critical review of the work shows the assertion of self-reliance, simplicity, and significance of nature for human survival. He asserts, “In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor  weakness weakness”(Henry p.7).This work is presented from first person narration but sound like a sermon that require deep reflection, wit, and understanding to expose the invaluable message.


Work cited

Thoreau, Henry David. Walden. The Thoreau Reader. The Thoreau Society. 9 Aug. 2009. Web. 21 May 2012. <>