Walden Essay

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Norvell is an independent educational writer who specializes in English and literature. She holds degrees in linguistics and journalism and has done graduate work in theology. In this essay, she discusses Thoreau's frequent references to Christianity and Hinduism throughout Walden.

Walden is a book of contrasts. Thoreau contrasts summer and winter, village and woods, the animal and spiritual natures that struggle within every human being, and many other pairs of opposites. One recurring and important contrast is that between Christianity—especially as taught and practiced in America at the time Thoreau was writing—and Hinduism. Like other New England transcendentalists, Thoreau was an avid reader of Hindu scriptures, and he quotes them and refers to them often in Walden. Like virtually all Americans of his time, he was also familiar with the Bible and with how the Christian denominations of his day interpreted it. What is particularly interesting...

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This section contains 929 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Walden Study Guide
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Walden from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.