Lessons from Walden Two
Walden Two is a novel about a fictional community in present day America. The community is a Utopia of the highest standards: the people are happy and content, there is a minimum of hurtful emotions and activities, and everyone is healthy and prosperous. It is a stark contrast with the world we are living in today. So why don't we change our society to match that of Walden Two, solving all of our nation's many problems? For one thing, we do not know if a society patterned after Walden Two will work.
Walden Two is a work of fiction; such a society has never been attempted. However, even if such a society has been proven to work perfectly, our society is not prepared for such a radical change. It is human …show more content…
But it is possible to use behavioral engineering in the real world to make these universal beliefs. Logically, without the hindrance of current society, there is no inherent value in being above anyone else. The human sprit craves closeness and friendship; being above someone else sets you apart. The problem is convincing people that this is true, even though they have lived all their lives thinking otherwise.
One way of doing this would be to use propaganda - convince people without reason that it is the correct way, the natural way. However, a much more effective way of teaching is to let the people learn for themselves. Make the information of both sides available, and require or strongly recommend analysis of the material by everyone. This is another aspect of Walden Two that can apply to our society - learning. In Walden Two, students do most of their own teaching to themselves by reading the available material and drawing their own conclusions; the only thing they are actually taught are techniques for learning to better facilitate their personal study.
However, in our problem with the psychology of a consumer society, propaganda would not be an effective or complete solution. There are many, many people in our society today who are so set in their ways that they would not change at all from assimilating and analyzing the provided information. These people would
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The tone of the excerpt from Walden is critical of the way the American population lives. This is seen by Thoreau’s comparisons of the American lifestyle to people or beings that do not live logically, such as the greedy man who was turned into an ant by Zeus in one of Aesop’s fables, or the pygmies and the cranes that fought a war until the pygmy population was decimated. He states in the excerpt that he “wanted to . . . live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that is not life,” (Thoreau, 2). This quotation emphasizes that the American people are not able to truly live life since they tend to live in extravagant excess. Thoreau moves from American excess to the railroad swiftly. This could in part be to mirror
In Walden, Henry D. Thoreau presented a radical and controversial perspective on society that was far beyond its time. In a period where growth both economically and territorially was seen as necessary for the development of a premature country, Thoreau felt the opposite. Thoreau was a man in search of growth within himself and was not concerned with outward improvements in him or society. In the chapter entitled "economy," he argued that people were too occupied with work to truly appreciate what life has to offer. He felt the root of this obsession with work was created through the misconstrued perception that material needs were a necessity, rather than a hindrance to true happiness and the
The excerpt Walden, by Henry David Thoreau, is a piece that explores the purpose of life, especially if it isn 't lived to the fullest. Thoreau starts by sharing the meaning and value of life. His idea of his personal achievement was to live life and die with a sense of peace and knowledge that he did not waste a single moment. He wanted to live life while being true to himself regardless of whether he would find life to be cruel or a wonderful place, and this was a risk he was willing to take. In a modern sense we are intrigued by technology. Although those in favor of technology may say that the new devices and applications do not affect human interaction and our way of living we are, are unable to see that, even in a room filled with people, there is an isolation barrier and an inability to live life to the fullest.
I share this view of society with Emerson: “Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue of request is conformity. Self-Reliance is its aversion.”
From the ideas shared in the novel, it is evident that the writer defines his ideal society in the form of an antithesis of existing society. The author takes the initiative of informing the American population - using the novel’s romantic medium - on matters concerning individualism, which is notable in an argument by Andrew Carnegie who claims
In order to be heard by the government policies speak up for yourself. Speak up and let it be known what you want when you feel it’s right. “Let every man make known what of government would command his respect”. Just like what Thoreau believed to speak up and stand up for your voices to be heard. Thoreau was a man that believed that the government shouldn't be in your life business. Also a man that believed in how he could live by himself in nature and escaped from society. He wanted to be an independent person living a peaceful harmony and nature in which he focused the most on. Life was a waste of time if you rushing it in which he shows in “Walden”. “Lead lives of quiet desperation” meaning his life by living in a simple lifestyle was bringing
is able to improve his state of content, self-reliance and independence by a vast degree. It can be said that in a piece of literature such as “Walden”otherwise known as “Life in the Woods”, that there are numerous universal truths about removing oneself from the vortex of everyday monotonous societal living, and instead rather becoming part of something that is embedded in the natural state of living. Humans are beings brought about of nature, in that, at the very basic core of human essence and character, Thoreau’s argument concerning the state of affairs in which humans participate in, is heavily societally constructed. The truth of the matter is humans are primates, with natural organic origins, operating with simply a higher state of thinking than other primates. It is because of this, that humans are able to form complex communities, centers of trade and finance, houses of religion, amongst many other socially constructed institutions.
Henry Thoreau’s masterpiece, Walden or a Life in the Woods, shows the impact transcendentalism had on Thoreau’s worldview. Transcendentalism is a philosophy that asserts the primacy of the spiritual over the material. Transcendentalism puts the emphasis on spiritual growth and understanding as opposed to worldly pleasures. Thoreau’s idea of transcendentalism stressed the importance of nature and being close to nature. He believed that nature was a metaphor for spiritual enlightenment. A walk in the woods therefore was a search for spiritual enlightenment. One should look ‘through’ nature, not merely ‘at’ her.
In Henry David Thoreau's Walden and Civil Disobedience, a problem is presented in the way in which we live our lives. Thoreau sees this problem and goes to Walden Pond to find the solution. Yet his solution is controversial in that it seems to propose actions that go against human nature. Thoreau's prescription for American desperation cannot be accepted by the masses for it is rooted in anti-socialism when humans are essentially social in nature. However, this conclusion is not entirely accurate, as one needs to explore Thoreau's entire solution and the intent of what he is saying in this work.
The chapter entitled “Conclusion” is a fitting and compelling final chapter to Thoreau’s Walden. Throughout Walden, Thoreau delves into his surroundings, the very specifics of nature, and what he was thinking about, without employing any metaphors and including none of his poignant aphorisms. However, placed among these at-times tedious sections, come spectacular and wholly enjoyable interludes of great and profound thought from a writer that has become extremely popular in modern America. His growth of popularity over such contemporary favorites as Emerson in our modern era stems from the fact that Thoreau calls for an “ideological revolution to simplification” in our lives. This
Therefore, Thoreau was ahead of his time as historians place the golden age of free thought from 1875 to 1914. This idea of personal freedom was not popular at the time “Walden” was only a marginal success. Afterward, in the Civil Rights moment the “Walden” became very popular with young Americans. The “Walden” inspired theses’ Americans to obtain real freedom with many examples. “I see young men, my townsmen, whose misfortune it is to have inherited farms, houses, barns, cattle, and farming tools; for these are more easily acquired than got rid of.” At the time most, parents expected their sons to take over the farm after the father became feeble. Therefore, most men were forced to work the farm instead of pursuing what they wanted. Instead a man becomes a machine that has no freedom. Therefore, have a feeling that his only function was to replace the old machine before him. “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” Technologies today give us the illusion of heightened freedom. In the United States, we can obtain every material item we desire. Even though we still have the highest rate of anxiety disorders and depression in the world. Thoreau explains “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.” To have true freedom and happiness you must face your demons. As material earnings can’t cover up your inner truth. Many Americans can’t handle the truth and this why we live a life of desperation. Thoreau
‘One man’s utopia is another man’s dystopia.’ This is a famous quote we must often bear in mind when writing about such topics and it is often fairly accurate. A utopian society, in this essay, will be defined as a “non-existent society that is described in considerable detail…” (Fitting, 1993, 1) and an ideal and visionary society that enjoys perfection in various fields such as politics, law and more as seen in Thomas More’s famous novel, Utopia. A positive utopian society is often impossible due to a variety of reasons, primarily human nature and the inevitable inequality found in these idealized societies. A prime example of how a utopian society is often impossible can be found in Andrew Niccol’s film, Gattaca (1997). The film Gattaca explores a new version of an idealized society, a utopia that revolves heavily around genetic engineering. In Gattaca, an individual’s future is delineated by his or
A utopian community would be a world without oppression, discrimination or social hierarchy—essentially, an ideal place to live. However, does a perfect society really exist? In Sir Thomas More’s Utopia, More flirts with the concept of a utopian community with regard to geography, city structure, labor, government and religion. Considering these aspects, the community depicted in Utopia is primarily a success, with limited failures.
Thomas More’s Utopia is a work of fiction that explores the idea of the commonwealth of Utopia as an ideal society both governmentally and productively. Later thinkers delved deeper into the questions of society, looking at why people enter societies, what type of governments are most successful, and distribution of wealth among the population. Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx all had varying thoughts on how to achieve social order in the societies in which they lived. Their differing notions on the issue of social order and human nature lead to contradictory solutions.
Henry David Thoreau the American author and poet, wrote in Walden, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. Upon examining past and present society, a member of the general public can obviously see the truth in this