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Literary Comparative Analysis Essay: Thoreau and Solnit

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George Washington University
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In the writings that Thoreau did, he was doing the remembrance of the activities and events that took place in Walden Pond and the large-scale estates that were constructed in the area. Thoreau quotes some of the statements that came from Roman philosopher Cato who was advising people on some of the ways to ensure that one buys land that is legit and does not have any issues. Thoreau had developed some interest in Hollowell farm regardless of the fact that it needed to undergo various modes of improvement before it could be declared fit for habitation. Thoreau, therefore, tries to provide a depiction of the places that he lived and also avail the reason as to why he opted to live in such areas.

Rebecca Solnit concentrated on all sorts of laundry that were connected to Thoreau as she felt there was a matter that needed to be taken care of in this case. She states that of all the poets and writers who have ever existed, it is only Henry David Thoreau who has been able to make a better imagination when it arranges laundry. Even though he is determined to have all his laundry organized, nothing is clear about the nature of the arrangements that he establishes. All in all, Solnit tries to make a clear depiction of the way the works of Thoreau can be used in the contemporary 21st century.

Rebecca Solnit was advocating for Thoreau as she did not want to hear people speaking negative things about the kind of activities that were taking place around him. For instance, she states, "The sneering follow-up message I go from the person who claims that Thoreau was a man whose sister did his washing made me feel crummy" (Solnit 363). This statement is a clear indication that Solnit wanted to show that Thoreau was not a person who could allow his relatives to do his laundry for him as he had all the ability to do so. Solnit believed that the 21st century needed people to do all things by themselves and therefore Thoreau was among the people who proposed the idea.

In his book, "Where I Lived, and What I Lived For," Thoreau states that "to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms" (Thoreau 276). In this statement, he means that every person is supposed to have a meaning concerning all the events that take place in life. Everyone is supposed to have an experience of everything that takes place in life before dying and regretting later. He wants people to be able to identify all the meanness that the world has and publish it for everyone to know and grasp it fully. Walden Pond was the last place where he lived and had a reason for living in such a situation.

Thoreau was passing a message in the following quote, "There are probably words addressed to our condition exactly, which, if we could really hear and understand, would be more salutary than the morning or the spring to our lives," (Thoreau 270). Thoreau is trying to make everyone know that whatever he stated were essential and there was a need to grasp and apply them in daily lives. Thoreau was worried about the fact that whatever he was saying was landing on deaf ears and that would not be in any way different in the 21st century. The people living in the 21st century have undergone tremendous developments and improvements, and in that case, they would not be ready to copy or emulate statements which are not practical in any way. Thus, one of the challenges that come hand in hand with the text and experiments that Thoreau devised can be seen in the applicability of his claims. Solnit was among the few people who believed that Thoreau was always right and that was the reason why she was advocating for the statements and claims he made.

Rebecca Solnit's "Mysteries of Thoreau, Unsolved" she states, "Having ignored the warning signs of someone looking for people to condemnWe were the nation of Thoreau and John Brown and the Concord Female Anti-Slavery Society when we were also the nation of slave-owners" (Solnit 361). This is a clear indication that Solnit is supporting all the writings of Thoreau and therefore acts as an advocate for all the events that he was trying to put in place. Most people had a feeling that Thoreau's works were full of misconceptions and therefore Solnit was using real-life examples to make them develop an understanding of everything that he meant.

The texts from Solnit are full of nicely chosen words that make them more accessible than they would have been when looked at from Thoreau's perspective. Most people had a feeling that Thoreau was not noble and that was the reason why he allowed women such as his sisters to clean his clothes and other dirty activities. On the contrary, Solnit states, "They mistake him for John Muir, who went alone deep into something that resembled the modern idea of wilderness" (Solnit 362). This statement means that all the misconceptions that people had on Thoreau were not true and people were just comparing him with other individuals who were known to have gone astray when it came to the norms of the society.

I believe that the texts and ideas that Thoreau put across could be translated into messages that people could hear in a better way. Thoreau was coming up with texts that did not reflect on the people directly as he did not want to be specific on any matter. In that case, I suggest that the message should be written using terms that relate well to the people. For instance, the quotes should provide both the negative and positive consequences of going against their provisions. Such results can make people make informed decisions on whether to follow them or not. The primary challenge that has been exhibited in the texts that Thoreau was putting across could be seen from the parable nature that they possessed.

Therefore, the texts from the two authors are not similar as they are written on different perspectives and platforms. One of them rests on experiences and activities that have been taking place in real life. The other one majors on backing up the statements that come from the first text by making sure that the readers grasp everything that it entails. Most of the issues that are in Thoreau's writings are deemed to be less factual and that they do not portray the true meaning of life events and the idea of following instructions. On the other hand, Solnit majors on coming up with research related events that act as a proof to all the claims that Thoreau was trying to avail to the people who would live in the 21st century.


Works Cited

Solnit, Rebecca. Mysteries Of Thoreau, Unsolved. Trinity University Press, 2014

Thoreau, Henry. Where I Lived, and What I Lived For. Vol. 37 Penguin UK, 2005


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