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Is there evidence in Thoreau’s essay “Wild Apples” that he is venting his...

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cheerwhiz | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 7, 2011 at 3:20 AM via web

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Is there evidence in Thoreau’s essay “Wild Apples” that he is venting his displeasure with America?


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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 7, 2011 at 11:09 PM (Answer #1)

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This one is going to be a bit tough.  It's a challenge to fully assess because the article is written at a point in Thoreau's life where he is not as animated by the political struggle as much as he is the natural one.  Written at the later stage of his life, Thoreau because an ardent naturalist.  He was more driven by topics that represented his love of nature and the lament that much of it was disappearing.  The entire focus of the essay was to extol the virtues of the "wild apple" and to romanticize it because it lay beyond the reach of industrial and conformist society.  This is a result or an implication of the essay.  It might be here where we can see that Thoreau is voicing his displeasure with America, in that something in the wild, something that lies outside the reach of traditional society, is in danger of becoming appropriated by it.  Having said that, I think that the essay reads as more of an endorsement of the natural beauty in the world than a rebuke of modern society.  I don't see him taking the essay's primary motivation as venting displeasure with America as much as I see it as representing the praise of the natural world, an element that has and will continue to surpass the life span of the human beings that seek to control or appropriate it.

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