Henry D. Thoreau: "Autumnal Tints" Analytical Essay

Henry D. Thoreau: "Autumnal Tints"
An analysis of Henry David Thoreau's essay "Autumnal Tints."
# 114684 | 2,680 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2007 | FR
Published on Jun 18, 2009 in Literature (American) , Philosophy (History - 19th Century)

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This paper discusses Henry David Thoreau's essay "Autumnal Tints," which deals with the observation of Nature, a genre that made Henry Thoreau quite famous. The writer explains how, on what appears to be a rather "innocent" text praising the wonders of Mother Nature, and teaching us how to appreciate them, Thoreau is able to layer multiple levels of meaning. First there is the idea that if we only find the world that we are looking for, then stepping out of our habitual paths may be an opportunity for discovery, along with self-culture, reading, and discipline. The writer notes that in the background, the text within the text, Thoreau may be warning us about passiveness. If we do not use our mind, if we are not on the "lookout", then all sorts of things will be hidden from us. Finally, the writer explains that, through the decoding of the Brocken spectre allusion, the whole text itself stands as an argument for Thoreau's reasoning.

From the Paper:

"It is interesting to note that Thoreau is both a poet and a naturalist. Here, through his rendering, the poet gets to explain his own theory of perception - we only find the world that we are looking for. He is obviously trying to make us want to see/look for something else. Although, as a result of our previous readings, we cannot say that Thoreau has expressed that much faith in men, for most of his political texts aim to denounce our ways and underline our nonsense. But assuredly, he believes in Nature. If we want to go further with this argument, we might want to refer to the essay "Slavery in Massachusetts," in which, after having defined a quantity of flaws and injustices that reside in our society, Thoreau implies, through the symbol of the white water-lily, that there could be regeneration through nature..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Thoreau, Henry D., The Essays of Henry D. Thoreau, selected and edited by Lewis Hyde (New York: North Point Press, 2002)
  • Blake, William, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 1975)
  • Swedenborg, Emmanuel, Heaven and Hell (Wilder Publications, 2007)

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Henry D. Thoreau: "Autumnal Tints" (2009, June 18) Retrieved March 04, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/henry-d-thoreau-autumnal-tints-114684/

MLA Format

"Henry D. Thoreau: "Autumnal Tints"" 18 June 2009. Web. 04 March. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/henry-d-thoreau-autumnal-tints-114684/>