Spring on Walden Pond

Updated December 28, 2021

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Spring on Walden Pond essay

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During spring, the ice in the Walden Pond thaws and there is a celebration of the rebirth of nature as well as the spirit. Ice on the Walden Pond fascinates Henry David Thoreau a striking amount. Thoreau watches the breaking of the ice in great awe of the mystery and goes on to describe in towering depth the patterns of an early sign of impending spring that is the thawing of sand and clay which are flowing and often come before the leafy foliage that is yet to appear. This sand foliage is symbolic; it demonstrates that life is organic, and the earth is not merely an artifact symbolic of dead history. This is like drawing a parallel in living poetry, where human art and institutions are insignificant. Similar to spring, this essay expresses the fullness of life, vitality, and joy.

Thoreau’s spirit is awakened again in the spring. Just as nature embraces the rebirth and change brought by spring in a literal and physical way; Thoreau embraces those periods in life when an internal spring sparks a time to begin anew and grow in the intellectual, spiritual, and philosophical worlds. Thoreau explain[PE3] s the signs in nature which signify the onset of spring to encourage others grow.  He goes ahead to question the role played by traditions, revelations which have been written, and chronologies at a time like this. He makes a comparison of nature and the human body in both ways and says that “it is not the hand which is spreading the leaf of a palm with its veins and the lobes” (Spring 330).

Thoreau uses a hand to tie human physical traits with leaves, as the word ‘palm’ can signify both a plant or a hand. Reoccurrence of ‘life’ in spring; which was ‘dead’ in winter, suggests immortality. In winter, Walden had disappeared but had re-emerged with vigor and intense endurance during this period of spring. Likewise, the narrator is also rejuvenated and he becomes elastic another time. Similarly, the thoughts of a man and ideations improve during the period of spring, alongside his willingness to forgive the mistakes of his fellows and forget about all of their shortcomings. Thoreau receives a chance to a ‘fresh start’, more like a second chance in life.

Thoreau goes on to comment on the tonic nature of the wildness and adds that if it did not exist then life would have been stagnant. (Spring 330) He goes ahead to make remarks concerning our constant need to undergo exploration and have an explanation of our longing to discover the mysterious. Whichever approach is taken, it is not possible to get enough of Mother Nature. She happens to be the chief source for all the power and a hallmark of the life which is beyond the span of our human potential. Thoreau talks about the seasons ‘rolling on into summer,’ concluding his narration in suspense, leaving the reader yearning for more. He then writes of his two-year stay at the pond saying, ‘…the second year was similar to it’ (Spring 341).

Thoreau concludes by noting down the date he will depart away from the pond as being September 6, 1847. Thoreau makes several notable theological references: Biblical references and ancient Greek beliefs are present throughout this narration. One[PE6]  such is the mention of Methuselah, a figure in the Old Testament and inference to the story of creation in Genesis Account of creation, in the correlation made by Thoreau concerning man to clay explain “[why] man is but a mass of thawing clay” (Spring 330). He makes references to God, the Creator; an example being when he was described to have a patent for a leaf or when Thoreau makes a description of the new spring life being a laboratory for God.

In almost equal contrasting measure, Thoreau describes spring to be similar to ‘Cosmos being created from Chaos’ and realization made concerning the Golden Age–what a pagan, almost mythical comparison (Spring 335). This description is inferred Greek ancient belief: which explains that order was brought to the cosmos by the Gods hence creating a picture similar to the paradise described in Christianity- the Golden Age. Like in Genesis, at the beginning of time, every human in springtime is deemed as having magical infinite potential, like Adam and Eve before the Fall.

The references made have a symbolic meaning that is deep, however small and minimalistic, to cause rejuvenation of nature which is seen in this particular essay. It is incomparable to a mere change in climate. Rather than just bringing warmth to Walden Pond, springtime bears a breath-taking renewal of life as well which is a rebirth spiritually. The lengthy, comprehensive description about the melting ice, metamorphosed from being static to moving and a fluidity state, is allusive to the deliverance which was promised to Christians through the water at the time of baptism. Interestingly, this thawing brings the story to an end. Coincidentally, Thoreau decides to make the end of his work to be spring instead of making it the beginning, as it is plainly anticipated.

Thoreau’s end of his spring account leaves the reader in suspense; hopeful and eager, looking forward to a future that is untapped and the full potential that has not been achieved in his own life. Equally, taking a closing stand in the scriptures of Christians is the Apocalypse which has been written and explained in Revelations which is the final book in the Bible. It vows for a future of our lives which has already been transformed. There exist powerful images of Apocalypse in Thoreau’s account of the “Spring.” The wild and offbeat sound heard by an old man of the breaking ice which has been alluded to by Thoreau symbolizes the clamorous roar made by the shaking of the earth which is heard on the day of judgment (Spring 325).

Even the old man who is said to have known all operations of nature had never heard such an utterance before in life. This goes to show the possibility that this unique roar is somewhat heavenly and perhaps out of the ordinary even. The commander calling the wild geese is symbolic of the great armies of the Apocalypses. Just like the angel’s trumpet blare that will signal the start of Judgement Day, the blare in the angel’s trumpet is evoked by the honk in the head of the goose (Spring 334). The earth, as described by Thoreau, mutates into a form of existence that is higher, and life ultimately becomes celestial.

Thoreau’s vision about gold as well as jewels is figurative, as it alludes to the great riches described in Revelations, hence has more value than the fish he captured (Spring 333). He acquires heavenly acquisitions and not riches of the earth, just like in the Apocalypse. In conclusion, Thoreau depicts springtime as a chance for self-improvement, by how he blends nature writing and religious writing, as though to create a new religion of a fresh life to come; an opportunity to turn a new leaf. Every spring is nature giving man a fresh start in life. How much more generous can Mother Nature get?

Spring on Walden Pond essay

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Spring on Walden Pond. (2021, Dec 28). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/spring-on-walden-pond/


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