In the Thicket of Thoreau

I am not a fan of Thoreau.  That is no secret.  Prior to this class, I had not read any of his work and had no opinion on him whatsoever.  Now that I have had the chance to read some of his work, I find his writing to be self-contradictory, his tone to be condescending, and many of his points to conflict directly with my own beliefs.  That being said, I felt a greater challenge for me would be to find a passage that does not irk me.

This selection is from the first paragraph of “The Village.”

“As I walked in the woods to see the birds and squirrels, so I walked in the village to see the men and boys; instead of the wind among the pines I heard the carts rattle.  In one direction from my house there was a colony of muskrats in the river meadows; under the grove of elms and buttonwoods in the other horizon was a village of busy men, as curious to me as if they had been prairie dogs, each sitting at the mouth of its burrow, or running over to a neighbor’s to gossip.”

I found it particularly interesting because of the comparison between what he thinks of as nature and what he thinks of as society.  When I think of nature, I also think of the aspects of nature that can be found outside of nature.  There are sounds all around us that reflect nature, whether intentional or not.  Water runs from a sink.  Birds herald the rising sun.  Wind rustles the leaves, and it also rustles the flag atop a flagpole and makes the wind chimes sing.