final midterm paper.docx

final midterm paper.docx - Title Introduction In order to...

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Title Introduction: In order to analyze Thoreau’s solution to improve people’s quality of life it is necessary to take Thoreau’s view of life into account. Thoreau believes the existence of a fundamental need to understand what are considered the necessities of life. He identifies four necessities in life— food, shelter, clothing and fuel—that are all readily available in the nature (Economy 7). In addition, the modern world inevitably exposes its society towards consumerism, creating desires to acquire extravagance and distracting people from the search of life’s true meaning. Therefore, he proposes a solution of minimizing human’s desire by living a life of simplicity. Based on his two year sojourn in Walden Pond, where he isolated himself in the woods, he argues that going back to nature, using nature as the only source of resource, and being secluded from the modern society can distract people from consumerism towards the search of life’s true meaning. However, I argue that people’s resistance of living in isolation , inability to connect with nature, and government legislation will inhibit his solution from being implemented. It is difficult for modern people to sequester themselves, especially for those who are used to th e company of many. For instance, when asked about Thoreau’s idea of living, one of my respondents, a New Yorker, said: “I don’t want to live in an isolation like Thoreau. I just can’t. I need other people around me. If I were to live by myself, who am I going to talk to? Talking to myself?” Her statement, “I need other people around me,” clearly depicts that companionship is essential for her and potentially a major proportion of the society as we are social beings. This social need is also apparent in Thoreau’s sojourn through his visits to his sister house and his borrowing of tools to build his own shack. Even, if his sojourn sounds completely solitary, the
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fact the land belongs to his close friend Ralph Waldo Emerson (Reflection on Walden) , proves that he lives in a supportive condition instead in a condition of absolute self-reliance. In argument against human being’s social needs, Thoreau believed a connection towards nature can fill in_____. However, Thoreau’s ability to connect easily with nature can be considered unique. For example, my second respondent told me that “it is hard for me to understand and feel nature’s companionship. I remember that my uncle once went to Gili Trawangan (an island in North Lombok, Indonesia) for meditation. When he got back, he told me “nature would love to talk with us. We just need to pause and listen. Why don’t you start by asking a tree, if it enjoys life.” Nevertheless, her inability to follow her uncle advice supports my argument that connecting to nature is impossible for most people.
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  • Fall '13
  • Fleischmann
  • Walden

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