January 22nd, 2008
Thoreau’s description of the non-human world fits into Cronon’s discussion of wilderness well. They both tell of the feelings they get when they are alone in nature. They both describe wilderness in a way that tells of them getting away from society and describe its beauty. However, Cronon made it seem like Thoreau was growing terribly lonely in the wilderness, and after reading through “Walden”, I would have to disagree. Yes, he was alone, but I do not think he was going mad or had cabin fever, at least to an extreme. I think he finds wilderness in his mind. He is not far away from civilization (there is a train that goes by his cabin to remind him of that), but he still has a sense of wilderness and being in nature in his time at Walden Pond. When he sleeps at night, he hears nature and feels the untampered air around him. He uses all that he can from nature (grows food to eat, cuts trees, etc) and succeeds in being self-sufficient. The main perspective of life that Thoreau gains from all this, in my opinion, would be that you do not need everything that people usually depend on to live a happy life. Although this was just an experiment for him, he was content with his simple years out on Walden Pond with what nature gave him.