What does this quote mean and what message is Thoreau in Walden trying to send to the reader?“Yet we think that if rail fences are pulled down, and stone walls piled up on our farms, bounds are...

What does this quote mean and what message is Thoreau in Walden trying to send to the reader?

“Yet we think that if rail fences are pulled down, and stone walls piled up on our farms, bounds are henceforth set to our lives and our fates decided.”

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In these lines from the conclusion of Walden, Thoreau reflects upon how people create their own imaginary boundaries when they are no real ones. They feel that they are bound to the town that they are in; they are bound to the position in which they are.  His Transcendental philosophy is expressed here as Thoreau urges people to develop their inner selves:

Direct your eye right invward, and you'll find A thousand regions in you mind yet undiscovered.  Travel them, and be expert in home-cosmography.

In his conclusion to Walden, Henri David Thoreau urges his readers to look inward and explore their souls and individuality.  They should investigate new regions of thought and experience, developing into individuals who have traveled spiritually and lived life deliberately.

 

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