I May be Warming Up to Thoreau…

As I analyzed what I find to be one of the most significant parts of Thoreau’s writing, that is the first dozen or so lines of Walden in the section of Economy. This is the first taste of Thoreau that many readers experience, and is monumental in the manner in which they begin to develop how they feel about him as a writer. After putting the first fourteen lines into Voyant Tools, a handful of words stuck out to me: ‘experience,’ ‘labor,’ and ‘called.’ Given the nature of the online software, I can assume that these words occur in the text in substantial number, and thus those words must’ve frequented Thoreau’s mind in the midst of writing. Also acknowledging the nature of the section from which I pulled the text, it may seem inconsequential that ‘labor’ shows up often in a passage entitled ‘Economy.’ Still, I believe that the frequency of ‘labor,’ along with ‘experience,’ exemplify Thoreau’s deep inclination to plan and schedule, segmenting his day, or experience, with what he might think to be industrious work, or labor. It is undeniable that Thoreau is something of a preacher- he commands his prose with authority, starting countless sentences with ‘I,’ and regularly writing ‘called,’ which I can only insinuate is related to some sort of dialogue, most likely’s one of Thoreau’s reflective monologues on the state of humanity and a more idyllic lifestyle. However, I don’t wish to fault Thoreau for writing in such a manner, since much of the point of his book entirely was to provide meditative commentary.

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