Ivan Ivanov Walden (Solitude) This section is not about "solitude," at all, as the term in normally understood. Rather, it is about Thoreau's townsmen's misapprehensions regarding his solitude. Thoreau has shunned their company for what he calls a "more normal and natural society." He takes care to emphasize that all parts of nature -- the lake, bumble bees, the north star -- are companionship for him and that he is not lonesome. In refuting his neighbor's notion that he must be especially lonesome on rainy or snowy nights, Thoreau creates a hierarchy in which the intellect is higher than social contact. That, for him, it is an adequate replacement is evinced in his personifications of elements of nature -- the founder of Walden Pond or the elderly dame in the herb field -- through his imagination. Thoreau's personification of nature marks his significant contribution to the Transcendentalist philosophy. For him, nature was not just a symbol of divinity; nature embodied divinity. (For this, some accused him of being an Animist.) Thoreau's
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