Walden Essay

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In the following essay excerpt, Fanuzzi explores how Thoreau "describes not just an imagined city but how cities became imaginary" in Walden.

A second look at Walden suggests that Thoreau went to the country to find the city. He admits that his seclusion is motivated by necessity, since the opportunities for "beautiful living" once characteristic of civilized society are now found only "out of doors, where there is no house and no housekeeper." Thus secluded, he finds "a good port" from which to conduct his "private business," a railroad line to link a "citizen of the world" to national and international marketplaces, a cosmopolitan alternative to Concord's unlettered, "provincial" culture, and even—through Ellery Channing's companionship—the bonhomie of Broadway. Perhaps most important, he determines that by cultivating Catonian civic virtue, he has reacquired the integrity to "sustain . . . the manliest relations to men" forfeited by his neighboring yeomen...

(read more from the Critical Essay #2 section)

This section contains 3,420 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Walden Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
Walden from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.