Walden Essay

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In the following essay excerpt, Schwaber describes how readers can "perceive experientially Thoreau's psychic and moral growth" in Walden.

When a man is able to live his philosophy, it becomes more than a theoretical construction of his mind. It becomes his attitude, his way of having experience. Few men achieve this unification of mind, aspiration, and event. Too few, perhaps, even try. Yet some do; and as any reader of our literature knows, one of the very few masterpieces of American writing, Thoreau's Walden, has as its subject precisely this attempt.

Though apparently an account of Thoreau's two-year sojourn at Walden Pond, Walden reveals his coming of age during the years in which he wrote it. It can be read, therefore, as Henry David Thoreau's spiritual autobiography for the years 1845 to 1854. Walden is, of course, more than an account or an autobiography. It is a work of art...

(read more from the Critical Essay #4 section)

This section contains 1,488 words
(approx. 4 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.