Opting Out Of Society In Henry David Thoreau's Walden

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The majority of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, concerns the idea of opting out of society. In his chapter “Solitude” Thoreau describes how “[his] horizon bounded by woods all to [himself]” (111) is beautiful and belongs solely to him. As he is enjoying nature Thoreau states, “There can be no very black melancholy to him who lives in the midst of Nature” (111). Thoreau’s theme of being alone and appreciating nature is found throughout his book to such an extent that one can conclude that he believes the best way to live is without society. Thoreau cannot stand to pay his taxes because he refuses to, “recognize the authority of, the state which buys and sells men, women, and children” (145). Which is such an opinion that leads to him spending…show more content…
He leaves society because he can only see the bad in it and how infectious it is to the people that consider themselves to be a part of it. Thoreau states, “not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations” (145). This is Thoreau’s way of saying that a person never knows who they truly are until they abandon everything they know. Thoreau does exactly this by moving to Walden pond. He gives up the only life he’s ever known in order to experience the natural world. In Thoreau’s mind, nature is the exact opposite of society; nature cannot be stopped and is a force to be reckoned with. Thoreau spends the majority of his time watching the world go by, “I find it wholesome to be alone the greater part of the time” (115). When alone, Thoreau is able to make sense of the world moving around him and see the peace in nature that he cannot find in society. When among men, Thoreau can only see the corruption that human beings bring with them everywhere. As an abolitionist, Thoreau cannot stand to be apart of a world where “the state...buys and sells men, women, and children” (145) like possessions and equates these slaves to inanimate objects such as clothes. Opting out is the only way that Thoreau can be free in a world full of so much corruption. By opting out Thoreau willingly…show more content…
They’d say “but what about Facebook, Twitter, instagram, Snapchat? What will you do without a tv to watch your favorite shows or even to see the news with?” Society would see me as a rebel, a crazy person who isn’t in their right mind. Similar to how Thoreau was most likely viewed when he said he was going to live in the woods. Thoreau would agree with me that today’s society is more corrupt than it has ever been in all of history. We cannot live without technology and we’ve created a monster. In a way we’ve played God and we are paying the price for it. We cannot live without knowing what is going on in some far reach of the world and we cannot seem to live if we don’t know if someone else agrees with the choices we make. Society is Frankenstein, and technology is our monster. The technology itself is misunderstood and wasn’t created to be evil, but it’s the human mind that made it so. We place it above ourselves. Thoreau would have hated to live even a day in this world knowing how much we rely upon a piece of metal in our hands. He would be disappointed to know that we’ve created something that no matter how hard we try to stop it, is already on its way to take over. There won’t be a day when “robots rise up and conquer the earth” because that day has long

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