Henry David Thoreau’s Walden

4 April 2015
Examines use of metaphors in author’s argument for the authentic & fully examined life.

Walden
Henry David Thoreau, in Walden, states that I do not propose to write an ode to dejection, but to brag as lustily as chanticleer in the morning, standing on his roost, if only to wake my neighbors up (69). The fact to which Thoreau wishes to awaken his neighbors is the realization that they have become distracted and alienated from the true meaning of life. In effect, Thoreau wants Walden to operate as an extended metaphor of living according to his realizations during his two years of life in the woods. In the woods, Thoreau discovers what he believes to be the essential elements for living and, in Walden, extends the application of these elements to the whole world. He presents the drama of his own life metaphorically to demonstrate the tensions between himself, nature and town culture.

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