Friday, November 19, 2010

Thoreau's Memoir

Thoreau’s Walden is a memoir. Not your regular memoir, but it does have all the necessary characteristics to be a memoir. Thoreau writes about his two year experience living in nature. A social experiment, Thoreau details the story with his feelings about trying to live simplicity. I would call this either a philosophical memoir or a self-help memoir.
I thought having no dialogue would make the book slow moving and unexciting. However I was wrong. No dialogue made it more his story. He didn’t need to worry about developing characters because there weren’t any. We got into the character’s head and see how he came up with those insightful thoughts of living simple. “To be awake is to be alive.” He wasn’t necessarily alone though. He gave the trees, plants, anything dealing with nature a great deal of life when he describes them with imagery.
The theme of living in nature and simple of it is timeless. Even during Thoreau’s time where they didn’t have the internet and fast cars, people still were caught up of wanting things. Another thing that his time and this time have in common is people. We tend to be dependable on people: whether it’s our parents, our love ones or a drug dealer. Thoreau’s sums it up in this sentence: “I have a great deal of company in my house, especially in the morning, when no one calls.”
Unlike other memoirs we read so far, he chose this lifestyle. I feel it would have been a lot different if he was poor and had to live in nature. Maybe we would’ve gotten a more depressing viewpoint of what it was like to be alone in the woods. Still I find it commendable for someone to give up everything that he had to find out what it means to live a life of simplicity.
I like the idea of putting yourself out there. Why not find adventure instead of waiting it to come to you. If you’re a writer it makes you think of things you could write about. The subjects are unlimited. With me, it's this girl sitting next to me who I plan on marrying.

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