The Mythological Allusion Instances in Thoreau’s Walden Book
The Mythological Allusion Instances in Thoreau’s Walden Book

The Mythological Allusion Instances in Thoreau’s Walden Book

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  • Pages: 4 (1757 words)
  • Published: November 23, 2021
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We occasionally tend to manifest some expressions to imply an occurrence in our minds without necessary mentioning it directly. As such, we choose to indirectly convey a given reference to something in suggesting something, comment or put a remark on the same. Thoreau in his book, “Walden” has widely used this literal device to represent a contemporary society we live. He chooses the ancient history as well as the Greek mythology to showcase this as would be seen later in this study.

Introduction

Designing our lives and living life intentionally is what it means to live deliberately. Living deliberately according to Thoreau, means living every single part of your life as you please and studying what it means to be alive. He believed in living in harmony with nature and living a simple life.

In economy, Thoreau uses many classical allusions to mythological figures like his neighbours’ work and Hercules. He compares their work and labours respectively which evidently shows that he is an intellectually well-rounded man. Ironically, he criticizes universities for educating students about life instead of letting them live life which he says they would learn more. He makes extensive use of his education through historical, literary and philosophical references. He is familiar with conventional Western religious tradition as he was an inhabitant of Puritan-influence Massachusetts and a graduate of Harvard. He uses foreign language to provide a s

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ymbolic means of breaking with tradition to create new meanings and realities.

Other than that, he makes references to men that have been enslaved by their employment and this illustrates his emphasis on economy through simplicity. He suggests that people should stop arguing about slavery and consider how a man enslaves himself as a rhetorical move. In this, he meant to emphasize on the spiritual enslavement everyone faces and not the horrors of slavery. Thoreau’s opinions regarding society and civilization are influenced by the dawning of the Industrial Revolution .He uses characters such as Indians and Egyptians as an example of those able to live only with the basics of life and the ability to go without shelter or clothing. He thus tries to combat the negative influences of the Industrial revolution like factory which have no connection to an owner who did not engage in its creation.

The title, “Where I Lived, and What I Lived For,” gives a clue as to Thoreau’s philosophy. He is wise to say that he is crowing like a rooster to wake his neighbours up and that he is not just writing. According to him, the physical circumstances of life an inescapably and intrinsically tied to a person’s spiritual life. Because of the connection between one’s spiritual and physical life, his retreat to the Walden Pond shore is necessary and through this he urges his townsmen to reconsider their physical circumstances. He considers things like philosophy and religion to be illusory because they limit a person’s immediate experience in this world. His reality is not a historical concept but a factual one. He uses sleep to play an important role by evaluating the word sleeper to a symbol comparing me

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who labour without thinking to pieces of iron that grid a railroad. He attempts to rewrite and undo that awakening to free people from the shackles forged by traditional religion and to direct them to a more spiritually fulfilling reality.

In sounds, Thoreau proposes to explore his connection to nature and portrays human beings as part of nature and not a separate dominating force as they were said to be in the beginning of Industrial Revolution. He contrasts two disparate views of humankind through his description of sounds he hears in the forest. He further explains that he can turn the echo of church bells to magic just by listening closely to them as he is in the woods. In his recorded observations of nature; he proposes that intelligent people can avoid boredom by close attention to their environment and actions. He embraces nature and criticises the influence of human technology. He links literature and nature as natural and noble phenomena. He spends most of his time studying nature rather than on literature which is the natural progression of the deliberate attention he pays to books.

Thoreau’s use of mythological allusions reveals the extent to which he was influenced by a classical education in Solitude. He uses the mythological figures in a more creative way because of his juxtaposition of them with everyday rather than with intellectual matters. He provides a way to reformulate notions of health and nature with symbols familiar to audience like he chooses Hebe over Hygeia when he says Hebe was the only sound-conditioned, robust, healthy and young lady that ever walked the globe and wherever she went it was spring. He attempts to explain how a person in the midst of civilised society might be alone than he is without human companionship.

He destroys the notion that nature cannot provide companionship for a person. He seeks to explain why he is not lonely in the woods and also argues for more meaningful connections between human beings .He says that we ought to abandon pretence and only engage with others for important and hearty conversations. Thus solitude is not about what it is normally understood to be but it’s all about peoples’ misapprehensions regarding Thoreau’s solitude. He creates a hierarchy in which the intellect is higher than contact. For him, nature is not just a symbol of divinity but nature embodies divinity. His personification of nature marks his contribution to Transcendentalist philosophy. He makes a noticeable move of gendering the figure of nature as feminine and maternal figure.

Once again, in bean field, he references mythology and ancient civilization in his efforts to reform conventional New England about farming. He wonders why people worry so much for bean seeds instead of a new generation of men when he sees an old man digging holes for like the seventieth time in his life. He differs from Transcendentalists because his world view is heavily influenced by different cultural and religious traditions. He rejects Industrial Revolution because it is one of the intellectual effects of new technology. He does not simply embrace farming as a way of life as he rejects trade and

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