In my education life, first correspondence with Henry David Thoreau happened upon Emerson’s essay, “self reliance” in my second year at the University of Dumlupınar. Any one who reads “the self reliance” ,which is written by Emerson, will easily remember the finishing lines of his essay. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.”1 The stress on “the triumph of principle” was highly noticable enough to draw my attention on “ Life Without Principles”2 is written by Henry David Thoreau. Lets catch a quick glimpse of the work with a few words enough to remember how Thoreau defines the way of life in which the society has got used to spend the time. “infinitive bustle, panting of the locomative, no sabbath, work, work and work..” and in its very aftermaths he points out saying “If a man walk in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer, but if he spends his whole day as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed an industrious and enterprising citizen. As if a town had no interest in its forests but to cut them down!” when Thoreau articilated these feelings he was obviously awared of something amis was brewing on the horizon but without knowing to which extent the huminity has been just in its infancy of his fears and at soon what would be the extent of the devestation in a forseeable future. And needless to say of course we are today not in its infancy any more but absolutely are on the threshold of a turning point by all means somewhere too far from it was the case of Thoreau but also perchance quite soon to make a difference and convenient as much as hiking in Walden pond. Thus I believe Therein lies its strenght on many researchers as it does mean to me. Therefore I want to dedicate this work to Thoreus’s sublime attitude to nature itself. The focal point of this paper will be the relationship between human being and nature and I will use the chapter V Solitude from Walden as a reference point simultaneously making an excursion to the walden pond.
An unortodox stance
Emerson after Thoreau’s death wrote about him in one of his esays ” His interest in the flower or the bird lay very deep in his mind, was connected with Nature, — and the meaning of Nature was never attempted to be defined by him. …” I completely agree on his statement but I believe that the conviction which is carried has much more than it sounded. It is true that it was never attempted and he did not need as he never made himself apart from her, however there is something else what he has done which is deserved to be plumbed. Hence I want to shift his argument up a notch to face with this gripping fact which manifests itself at the end of the first paragraph of Solitude what he closes it with “ The wildest animals do not repose,but seek their prey now; the fox, and the skunk, and the rabbit, now roam the fields and woods without fear. They are Nature’s watchmen,–links which connect the days of animated life.” It is highly clear that the fact is not whether it was attempted or not because I personally believe that he could never yet. When I highlighted “they are Nature’s watchmen,” the facts speak for themselves. To prove that of course the question shall not be howThoreau did conceive they all are really Nature’s watchmen but shall ask that in which extent Thoreau felt himself a part of them, amid the watchmen and what his disposition was. And new dimension of the argument conveys the question of what his point of view is in nature? To find the answer lets hike with Thoreau a couple of minutes in Walden Pond “ This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore. I go and come with a strange liberty in nature, a part of herself.” It invokes a vivid image of an amazing sense of felicity of that evening with an irreducable tactile sensation in our perceptions of external facts with a couple of closed eyes amid the watchmen of the nature. Then lets add a pinch of spice more to our argument and proceed with.
This time I rewrite on two abreast these opening and closing lines of the first paragraph in a form of verse together below to help us grasp the tone of his newly minted mode of life.
I devised this technique of transformation for figuring out the internal stance of the writer at the very moment of manscuriping rather than the readable meanings of any paragraphes on paper. Therefore I opted to call this techique pro-verse, “prose-verse” which I shall utilize firstly in my this writing. Thus now we have two delicate proverse stanza on hand to scrutinize.
The ambience between the each abreast lines is brillient and forges a close bond and purposely or not but obviously serves a great strenght of point. Ancient philosopher,Plotunis who is regarded as the founder of neoplatonism 3 in the First Tractate of the Six Enneads 4 is questioning “Pleasure and distress, fear and courage, desire and aversion, where have these affections and experiences their seat?” I think the both preverse of Solitude perfectly testify to the contemplation of the Neoplatonist salvation.5Because in his surest mode of writing, Thoraue openly proclaims the felicity what he found with his recognition of Interdependent Web of Life6 In both preverse there are many outstanding key words such as “one sense, every pore, strange liberty, a part,do not repose, without fear, Nature’s watchmen, links and animated life which are bonded resolutely through the mutual interaction. In this comparative exhibition of the proverses, omiting the sixth line of the second proverse when we clarified the speaker’s stance in tone of the proverses in relation to the reference point; in first proverse Thoreau experiences a kind of self entity in the soul alone but in the second proverse the same process is witnessed by the other living beings of the woods with a great fortitude – roam the fields and woods without fear-
In both perspective the liberation stemmed from a fulfilling the coalescence of their accurate seats in nature but in this progress firstly lets examine the change of the tone from first to fifth line in light of our new frame. First proverse starts – this is a delicious evening- with a concrete thesis statement and conviction and in the ensuing acknowledgement he discriminates between the entitiy in soul – unit in body and entity in body – soul. This acknowledgement in second proverse raises an outstanding awereness of nature. Aristotle , in the book one of on the soul 7, corroborates this transmission by asserting “ The knowledge of the soul admittedly contributes greatly to the advance of truth in general, and , above all, to our understanding of Nature, for the soul is in some sense the principle of animal life.” But the role of this acknowledgement, when we come to the fourth line – I go and come with a strange liberty in Nature- plays us an ambiguous stage which will be resolved in the sixth line what we omitted before and will bridge the gap between the moment when Thoreau wrote hesitancy – a part of herself- by a half statement and the implication being that he has a profound missing link and the moment when Thoreau wrote again at the end of the paragraphe with a half statement – –Links which connect the days of animated life- the implication being that he has once again a missing link but this time solely on paper because no missing link in his mind although the statements seems to remain half in fact the conviction outstandingly manifests itself and even reasserts its power with the empty line on the first proverse. To open up comprehension before proceeding with the second proverse initially we should ask why he feels himself strange with a liberty in nature. What strange was it in proportion to his own part? Did he feel himself pecular as his thoughts were beginning to seem like being lunatic and erratic? I am likely to hear what your immediate response is “not at all” Then let us look at the question from another point of view. What may the kind of sensation be so strange ? George Orwell states “Now it is the time to handle the sixth line of the second proverse “—Links which connect the days of the animated life” what we omitted before.
“ Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence, thy sister dear!
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men;
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow.
Society is all but rude,
To this delicious solitude.” Cited from “The Garden” written after the civil wars by Andrew Marvell.
Some critics claim that his studies in walden pond was a sign of escaping from the modern society and even of effeminacy. And nowadays also young scholars misunderstand the qoutations of his studies. For example; Thoreau proclaims that people should not work for getting a living. And even proceeding further he says that it is most fatal mistake to choose that kind of life and in one of his essays, in life without principle he underlines saying “ i wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well. There is no more fatal blunderer than he who consumes the greater part of his life getting his living” Of course it sounds to be highly understandable to have been castigated and misunderstood by this proclamation but only for someone who reads his studies partly and without keeping all the meanings in proportion. Because Thoreau never exclaims that we musnt work but explicits that the meaning of the work and life is skiped over and tragically forgetten.
But the point what makes this proclamation predominant is the fact that he had made this proclamation hundreds years ago not years ago, not today at the times there has been yet no distinctive effect of industrialization upon the ecological system of the world. And this is the only one angle of the situation to destroy the nature which is the single source of the mankind to nourish the lives.
On the other hand, we have more pivotal missing at individually hand. While we are dealing with the matter of business, in fact, methinks “a merely lifetime which is given to us, has been losing in largely at works time”. Every new generetion is born out of the formerly doctrines and from the very begining loses his bearings in a bewildering of consumer demand. What’s the point of having such a demand ? what’s the merit of working without understanding the meaning of the life. We all become catastrophically unable to value what we are, what we can and what we have.
At this point of course Thoreau is inconceivable without appealing to Emerson. Emerson in his essay, self reliance says ” the civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet” as a response to this verdict, Thoreau comes across with his essay,”walden” He makes himself an experimental testament to this claim in means of both literary and scientifically. When the subject come to Walden i found many critics shameful and consider they have deep deficiency in professional judgment by deliberately getting stuck in ridiculous point. For examle; some of them, they blaim Thoreau for going home on the weekends by dismissing the whole point of his excursion. I think that if this excursion had been done by them, then it would be privilege of them. Of course that kind of ignorance is not by chance but totally by design in the aim of distracting the attention of the reader from the real stress. But this attitude seems like noting except a sign of “efferminacy” with a deep feeling of professional jealousy.