Walden Chapter 4


English 11 H

Period 1

In this selection for Walden, Henry David Thoreau describes the silence and calmness of his isolated life at Walden Pond. He would often spend whole days simply sitting still and taking in the sights and sounds of nature and her beauty. “He had the advantage over those who were obliged to look abroad for amusement, to society and the theater, that [his] life itself was become [his] amusement and never ceased to be novel” (90). In his isolation, Thoreau never became bored because he could always enjoy his surroundings and find pleasure from his isolated life. The only thing that connected Thoreau with civilization was a train track that ran “100 rods” south of his house. The sounds of this train track would often startle Thoreau from his serene and immersed meditation.

I admire Thoreau for being able to simply sit there for so long and take in the beauty of nature. In modern times, that kind of behavior is often seen as idleness and laziness. I personally would probably not be able to idly watch time pass, because I would feel obligated to do something productive and not loiter while my life passes by me. But I also believe that being able to simply relax, and let the winds blow away your worries, is one of the most important skills in life. This ability to forget your worries and become disconnected from your life for a moment certainly helps you clear your mind and make better choices.