Walden in the Real World

Ever since we started reading Walden, I’ve begun to make connections to today’s society. Even though Walden was published in 1854, it has more similarities to the present day than we may recognize. Thoreau states that “We discourse freely without shame of one form of sensuality, and are silent about another,” which reminds me of social media today (Walden, Higher Laws). On social media, many individuals openly post whatever they deem necessary whether it be a photo or a comment. There is rarely filtration on social media, and Thoreau states that during this time there were not many restrictions on debate or speech. Additionally, Thoreau says that “I had more than ever come within the influence of those books which circulate round the world, whose sentences were first written on bark and are now merely copied from time to time,” and this quote can be compared to the evolution of literature in society. It is interesting to think about all the literature that has changed from the creation of society until now. Books used to be handwritten on stone, and now you can even speak into a microphone that will type on your laptop for you. Books used to be very scarce, due to their cost, but now they are widespread and it is rare to not have access to literature. Thoreau’s ideas in Walden, while unique to the novel, coincide with many elements of the world today.

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