Write a 2 pages paper on walden. Walden is a story of a man’s project to live in austerity and independence in a world void of human technology. It talks of living through one’s own means, like building up one’s own house, and feeding oneself through his own garden. Walden is not merely a narrative of how one can live freely of human technology but also a story full of symbolisms.

One of the major symbols in Walden is the Walden Pond itself. The Walden Pond is rumored to be bottomless. But Thoreau refutes this claim when he measured the pond to be no more than a hundred feet. Being water, the Pond becomes the symbol for the purity and vitality of the nature. Thoreau sees the Pond as the main source of the community’s belief for infinity. Its pure and reflective nature becomes a metaphor for a pure and reflective life, which is human’s nature to believe in a power that controls and manages one’s fate. The Pond is not just a part of the landscape of the place, it becomes a spiritual symbol, how one can believe in infinity as one can see infinity through the Pond. This symbolism is further reinforced as Thoreau and the community uses the Pond for self-reflection. As the Pond turns inward, from ice back to water, the people turn inward to understand its purpose and what else they could do bringing forth their desire to live not merely as parts of a society but to become a member of it, with purpose and with bearing.

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Another symbolism greatly talked about in Walden is the animals. Thoreau’s account of the behavior of the animals is unlike a biologist or scientist’s way of interpreting their movement and actions rather he gives human meaning to their behavior. Each set of animals are seen as metaphors of human nature and one’s quest in life. For example, the ant warfare that he witnesses makes one understand that any creature has the instinct to destroy another to protect one’s own much the same as the human warfare. The search for the hound, bay horse and turtledove is the same as the search for spirituality. Thoreau describes this mission as something that is hard to achieve. The snake symbolizes the passive and oblivious nature of most men. His connection with the animals made him more connected to nature and to other human beings as he begins to understand that each one has a purpose in life.

Thoreau was also interested in the mud from the Walden Pond. He sees the mud patterns like patterns from leaves. This opens his mind to the interconnection of things. He views this as a proof of how nature is interconnected with each other, that nature is not just something to be studied through science but a source of inspiration, creativity and spiritual truth.

Most of the symbolisms in Walden points to the human nature of seeking truth, spirituality and reality. Thoreau interprets his experiences in interacting with the creatures and things in the Walden Pond as a pursuit of spirituality and inner reflection. The symbols are mostly related to the human nature and not really an interpretation of why the creatures and things behave the way they do. Thoreau always relate them to how humans are behaving and interacting with each other.


Kramer, Ilona. “Deep and Pure for a Symbol.” Grin Verlag, 2010. http://books.google.com.ph/books?id=F8nRnRopYcgC&dq=walden+symbolism&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Smith, Tim. Thoreaus Walden: Images of America. SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2002.

Cafaro, Philip. Thoreaus Living Ethics: Walden and the Pursuit of Virtue. NY: University of Georgia Press, 2004.

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