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Andy Campbell Mrs.

Nogarr AP English 3, Period 6 December 10th, 2013 Title: Where I Lived, and What I Lived For Author: Henry David Thoreau Discussed: December 10th, 2013

Chiasmus: “We do not ride on the railroad; it rides upon us. Did you ever think what those sleepers are that underlie the railroad? Each one is a man, an Irishman, or a Yankee man. The rails are laid on them, and they are covered with sand, and the cars run smoothly over them. They are sound sleepers, I assure you. And every few years a new lot is laid down and run over; so that, if some have the pleasure of riding on a rail, others have the misfortune to be ridden upon” (page 7)

Metaphor: “It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men. Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. Moral reform is the effort to throw off sleep. Why is it that men give so poor an account of their day if they have not been slumbering? They are not such poor calculators. If they had not been overcome with drowsiness, they would have performed something. The millions are awake enough for physical labor; but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion, only one in a hundred millions to a poetic or divine life. To be awake is to be alive.” (page 5)

Transcendentalism was a profoundly influential American philosophical and intellectual movement in the early nineteenth century that stressed the triumph of emotion over reason,

He believes trains. since one must obey the strict timetables and schedules of trains. reveals much about Thoreau’s beliefs and views of his changing world. give people an illusion of increased freedom. Perhaps Thoreau was reluctant to travel because he feared what he might find. He implies that those who benefit from technology are doing so at the expense of the workers. but in fact represent new restrictions. Walden. who summarized his life and beliefs in 1854 book. was quick to denounce the benefits of progress . He feels it is far better to go ponder life in a little corner of the woods for years than to commute from place to place unreflectively. who are “ridden upon”. like many others. as well. One clear illustration of Thoreau’s resistance to progress is his issue of the train. of the change in mindset the railroads have brought about. without reaching fulfillment in life. Among its most prominent writers was Henry David Thoreau. but Thoreau has little use for travel anyway. which was a symbol of the wonders of technological achievement. and frightening to others.and the ability of people to “transcend” their sensory systems to establish a deeper sense of living. . a device in which the clauses are reversed to highlight the contract in meaning. Living in an era of rapid industrialization.Thoreau is stubborn to accept the idea that any outward improvement of life can bring the inner peace and contentment he so incessantly craves. It moves people from one point to another faster. claiming that “We do not ride on the railroad. technology was driven to the forefront of national issues. This quote utilizes chiasmus. His most noteworthy chapter in the book. He sees it as a false example of social progress. Thoreau uses the metaphor of sleepers under the track to give a visual demonstration of the dangers of technology. it rides upon us”. The drastic destruction of previous ways of life was understandably upsetting to some. like all technological improvements. Thoreau is skeptical. Thoreau. Where I Lived. and What I Lived For.

To describe the state at which Thoreau feels he has reached. Clearly Thoreau does not mean everyone else is sleeping. Thoreau mocks travel as a “fool’s paradise”. the day is a perpetual morning”. saying “The millions are awake enough for physical labor. “whose elastic and vigorous thought keeps pace with the sun. Thoreau has a highly romanticized view of morning. and one that is most typical of transcendentalist doctrine. His diction is . stating that the most valuable travel occurs without leaving your own home. Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me. he feels as though only he has deeper insight into the true meaning of life and everyone else remains blind. which he holds to be the most important and productive time of day. is his rejection of reason and logic in favor of emotion. and in touch with his inner self. it later turns into a collection of philosophical pondering and grand assertions. Living in an era with the introduction of clocks and the increasing importance of time-keeping. the inward journey to your soul. but what you feel. Thoreau finds this new lifestyle stressful and distracting of the true goal in life. but that only a few people seem to be aware of what Thoreau argues. Clearly this view is biased.” Feeling threatened by the onslaught of industrialization and science. While Thoreau begins the chapter with a discussion on the process of buying his new home.He had established a world view so firmly engraved in his mind that he wouldn’t know what to do if confronted with something that threatened it. but only one in a million is awake enough for effective intellectual exertion”. saying “It matters not what the clocks say or the attitudes and labors of men. out of touch with reality. Thoreau justifies his increasingly outdated views with his claim that it matters not what logic proclaims to be true. Thoreau speaks of man. fulfillment in life and nature. A noteworthy view of Thoreau. he uses the term ‘awake’. that matters.

Where I Lived. and What I Lived For perfectly exemplifies the individualistic doctrines of transcendentalism.extremely idealistic and passionate. and are trapped in a living death that suppresses everything wonderful about being human. Thoreau finds that most people are unfulfilled and lacking. Because of this. . unable to distinguish between luxury and necessity.