Essays walden pond

Although Transcendentalism in its proper sense did not last much into the 1850s, American literature as a whole saw a revival that may not have been possible without the inspiration of Emerson, Thoreau, and their ilk. The decade or so before the Civil War has in the last century come to be known as the American Renaissance. The literary productions of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Walt Whitman shifted the balance of power in English literature away from the British Isles and towards the United States. The new American literature was bold, fresh, and young. It encompassed the sweep of the prairies and the energies of the explorers. Not everything was glory and progress, however. Social historians look back today and see that other cultures suffered at the hands of American settlers and American industry. For their time, the Transcendentalists were remarkably attuned to the needs and interests of non-white persons, namely Native Americans and African Americans. They spoke in favor of women’s rights and abolition, and encouraged protest against the government when its actions disagreed with the common good. In the realm of art, Transcendentalism was the intellectual fuel that stoked the fires of American literature for years to come.

On July 24 or July 25, 1846, Thoreau ran into the local tax collector , Sam Staples, who asked him to pay six years of delinquent poll taxes . Thoreau refused because of his opposition to the Mexican–American War and slavery , and he spent a night in jail because of this refusal. The next day Thoreau was freed when someone, likely to have been his aunt, paid the tax, against his wishes. [40] The experience had a strong impact on Thoreau. In January and February 1848, he delivered lectures on "The Rights and Duties of the Individual in relation to Government", [41] explaining his tax resistance at the Concord Lyceum . Bronson Alcott attended the lecture, writing in his journal on January 26:

Likewise others have assumed Thoreau's intentions during his time at Walden Pond was "to conduct an experiment: Could he survive, possibly even thrive, by stripping away all superfluous luxuries, living a plain, simple life in radically reduced conditions?" [12] He thought of it as an experiment in " home economics ". Although Thoreau went to Walden to escape what he considered, "over-civilization", and in search of the "raw" and "savage delight" of the wilderness, he also spent considerable amounts of his time reading and writing. [ citation needed ]

Essays walden pond

essays walden pond

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