What are some examples of similes and personification in the book Walden by Henry David Thoreau?thank you in advanced :)

1 Answer

yaday's profile pic

yaday | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Walden is littered with similes, in particular, comparisons of humans to animals and nature using "like" or "as."  The use of personification(giving human or animal-like qualities to nonliving things or concepts) does appear but not as frequent as the latter.  Listed below are some examples of similes:

From Where I lived, and What I lived For:  


"Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fables tells us that we were long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes."

"Our life is like a German Confederacy, made up of petty states"


"I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"

From The Pond in Winter


"Like the marmots in the surrounding hills, it closes its eyelids and become dormant for three months or more"

(also, personifying Walden pond)

From Spring


"[Ice] is unusually hard, owing to the recent severe but transient cold, and all watered or waved like a palace floor"

"The honking of geese flying low over the woods, like weary travelers getting in late from southern lakes, and indulging at last in unrestrained complaint and mutual consolation"  

From Conclusion

"Cultivate poverty like a garden herb, like sage"

"The life in us is like the water in the river.  It may rise this year higher than man has ever know it...flood the parched uplands; which will drown out all our muskrats"

(simile and personifying our problems as unwanted rodents)  

"It is life near the bone where it is sweetest" - personification