Homework Help

Can we consider Thoreau's Walden as a spiritual autobiography? How would one justify...

user profile pic

cdrdebipadhi | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 17, 2008 at 12:07 PM via web

dislike 1 like

Can we consider Thoreau's Walden as a spiritual autobiography? How would one justify this?

I would like to develop the suggestions to an essay

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 18, 2008 at 8:33 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

I think it is very plausible to consider Walden to be Thoreau's spiritual autobiography. Thoreau was a transcendentalist, meaning that for him nature, humanity, and divinity are all connected. As the eNotes overview states, Walden is "an ideal model for enjoying that unity. In solitude, simplicity, and living close to nature, Thoreau had found what he believed to be a better life."

Frugality and conservation were religious acts for Thoreau. In transcendentalism, God is present in every aspect of life, not just within the human soul but in the wind and in a leaf and in a drop of rain. Being alone in nature is the same as being in meditation or prayer to God. Thoreau's message is that by living according to his example, anyone can find God.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes