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Walden Pond Rhetorical Analyss

In: English and Literature

Submitted By awlester
Words 1383
Pages 6
Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, published in 1854, is a book composed of the author’s reflections on living simply for several years near Walden Pond. One of the final chapters of this book entitled “Spring” opens the gateway for a physical and metaphorical change in the author’s life. This chapter will be examined through several topics including historical context, the audience, the speaker and the text itself in an attempt to analyze the rhetoric utilized by Thoreau. “Spring” calls forth a transformative and, almost, biblical attitude leading those who read this excerpt to sense the physical changes occurring at Walden Pond. Thoreau, himself, anxiously awaits this seasonal change as it is almost as if the Earth is experiencing a rebirth of its own. “…One attraction in coming to the woods to live was that I should have leisure and opportunity to see the Spring come in” (Thoreau, 1854, p. 322). Thus, the analysis will commence as the historical context of this chapter is investigated further.
When examining the historical context of this chapter from Walden, one must first understand that not only is the transformative period of Walden Pond documented, but it is possible that Thoreau could’ve hinted towards changes within the United States as well. When this book was published, slavery was still very much commonplace and the Kansas-Nebraska Act had just blossomed two new territories. The crescendo of tension over whether these territories would allow slavery spurred the creation of the Republican Party, which opposed the expansion of slavery, and would be the dominant party of the northern states. Several years after this event, Abraham Lincoln would be elected and one year later, the American Civil War would begin. All of these events, which would eventually transpire, appear to almost mimic the drastic changes that Thoreau witnesses as spring creeps onto the…...

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