Tag Archives: Walking

Three Peas in a Pod

I was finishing up Hull’s book Infinite Nature tonight since I’ve been working on my paper this week and I definitely see a lot of similarities between Hull’s chapter 12 and Thoreau and Emerson’s essays. Hull speaks about people using nature in a relaxing way – in order to get away from the stresses of everyday life. This reminded me a lot of the things Thoreau spoke about in his essay. Hull writes about modern times, whereas Thoreau was writing about simpler times back when he was around, but both are making the same statements: Nature is soothing. Hull also gives many descriptions of nature that remind me of Emerson’s essay. Hull writes about being able to “smell the soil…, feel the cool breeze against your skin, hear the leaves rustle in the air, and watch puffy clouds float above a swaying canopy” (page 183). The description of this scene in nature reminds me of exactly the kind of scene one would read in Emerson’s essay. I just thought it was kind of cool how we were reading the last couple chapters of Hull’s book at the same time as reading the two essays by Emerson and Thoreau and how much all three tied in together.

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Giving Nature Our Attention

In Thoreau’s essay “Nature” he speaks about going into the woods and not actually being in the woods. He is referring to being in the woods in “spirit.” It is very easy to be somewhere physically, but not as easy to be somewhere spiritually. He speaks of how sometimes it is difficult to “shake off the village.” Although we do not necessarily live in a village per say, it is often hard to clear your head of worldly matters and just enjoy the nature that you are in. People’s lives are so full of their job and paying bills that people often struggle to make time to just relax and take in the natural beauty of the world around them. Thoreau asks, “what business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?” Here, I think he means that it is basically a waste to be out in nature trying to enjoy it if your mind is stuck elsewhere. Nature is so beautiful that it deserves your undivided attention when you are in its presence; it’s almost an insult to be out in nature and not pay attention to its actual beauty. If only people would realize how beautiful nature is and the attention it deserves, then maybe people would be less likely to harm it.

What’s In a Name?

Henry David Thoreau, in his essay “Walking”, discusses the importance (or lack-there-of) of having a name. For example, my name Sara, taken from biblical context of Abraham’s wife, Sarai, was given to me when I was born by my parents. It even says my full legal name on my birth certificate that I am indeed called Sara. However, Thoreau believes that “there is nothing in a name” (108). Man can be individualized by his race, character, or other variety, but a name doesn’t tell an outsider much about a person besides having a label. A name is merely a tag given to a person, but a familiar name won’t make a person any more familiar to a stranger. Thoreau says that a name doesn’t help to make distinctions of a person.

So, is he basically saying that I am worthless? I am not sure which stance Thoreau is taking, but to me it seems as if he is inexplicitly stating that man is made equal by name, but gains his individuality by personality, characteristics (physical and emotional), and other features. Therefore, I shouldn’t be identified as just being “Sara”: you can now call me “loud and obnoxious”.

-Sara