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Henry David Thoreau’s Writing Style

Updated July 12, 2022
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Henry David Thoreau’s Writing Style essay

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Thoreau is one of those writers that was completely forthcoming with his thoughts and views as they are in his head yet, instead of changing the wording so that the reader will understand, he uses these metaphors to help drive his point home. These metaphors are simple and give a clearer image of what his saying. These metaphors help explain that while his is intellegent, he understand that not every Tom, Dick, and Harry will fully understand. These metaphors also elude to Thoreau being a simple man who seems to really be one with nature.

Thoreau says, “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life…” He is saying that he understand what life is and what he doesn’t want it to be. Combining that with “ I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear…” he is not only stating what his intent is but distinguishing it with another example, here it is resignation. He is attempting to compare life as he know it with the life he still has yet to experience, something the complete opposite of what he currently has. He also says, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential fact of life…” By illistrating the possiblitiy of regret, he shows that there is motive for an indivuduals identification and symoltaniously, changes an opinion of personal desire into a justified profesion.

It doesn’t take long for the reader notices that Thoreau is pairing a smile with each one of his ideas. One would interprate this as a tactic that Thoreau used to help the reader understand what he was thinking, what he was trying to say. It is almost like he was translating his thoughts so that the public at large could understand him. One would have to agree that this is a great way to do this. Not just for the people of this day, but for people to read his work for many years to come. One of the similies he gives here is, “An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lunp the rest.” This particular analogy relates back to his idea that, “Our life is fritted awy by detail.” That similie simply emphasized his idea. This approach really grabs the readers attention and connects them to the text.

The reader experiences a rather long metaphor, which is not exactly how Thoreau was executing this piece, and therefore it stands out. One may feel like it just rambles on and takes a lot longer to comprehend what he is trying to say. He uses a lot of rehtoric devices, for example “still live mealy, like ants error upon erro, and clout upon clout…” to slow the pace. As though Thoreu is coming through the page saying, “Reader, it is a busy world out there, and it is a vicious cirlce you are caught up in being of the world, please, slow down.”

There is also an interesting phrase Thoreau threw in where he says, “starved before we are hungry.” This phrase could throw a reader off, to sit and ponder the meaning. Could he again be stabing a point at how busy our lives are? It may that Thoreau is saying that he is telling the reader that they may be missing out on the more important matters in life because they are investing too much in the petty and nonessential matters. That they should enjoy today as much as possible and then repeat for all the days that they have.

Thoreau gives the account of what happiness is to him and encouges the reader to find what happiness is to them, if they haven’t found it yet. People move such a fast pace that they may miss something. It would probably be a challege for a lot of people to take the advice of Thoreau, even for just a day. It would definitely make for an interesting challege that could bring to the latest intertent platform.

Henry David Thoreau’s Writing Style essay

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Henry David Thoreau’s Writing Style. (2022, Feb 10). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/henry-david-thoreaus-writing-style/

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