《瓦尔登湖》:现代精神危机的一剂解药 Walden Medicine for Modern Spiritual Crisis毕业论文_英语毕业论文

《瓦尔登湖》:现代精神危机的一剂解药 Walden Medicine for Modern Spiritual Crisis毕业论文

2021-04-02更新

摘 要

《瓦尔登湖》是美国十九世纪哲学家、超验主义作家亨利·大卫·梭罗的代表作品,在美国文学史上具有重要地位,记录了梭罗在美国马赛诸塞州瓦尔登湖湖畔,为时两年的自给自足的独居生活以及随想。这本书是对回归自然环境以及简朴生活的思考的记录,是对一项关于独自生活、降低物质需求、探索精神世界的实验的记录。如今二十一世纪,随着科技、经济、以及媒体的发展,消费主义、拜金主义、物质至上的思想兴起并逐渐盛行于全球。然而物质生活水平的提高并没有给多数人带来幸福,相反,现代人在物质的洪流中逐渐迷失自己,正面临着空前的精神危机。本文主要探讨《瓦尔登湖》中的一些思想,如简朴生活、回归自然等,为解决现代人的精神危机能够起到的作用。

关键词:《瓦尔登湖》;亨利·大卫·梭罗;消费主义;现代精神危机

Abstract

Walden is the masterpiece of Henry David Thoreau, an American philosopher and transcendentalist writer in the 19th century. It records Thoreau’s self-sufficient life about two years besides Walden Pond, Massachusetts, America. The book is also a record of a life of going back to nature and simplicity, and of an experiment of living with self-reliance, restrained material needs, as well as explorations of human’s spiritual world. In the 21st century, with the rapid development of science, economy and media, consumerism, money-worship and materialism has emerged and are now prevailing all over the world. However, a richer material life does not bring happiness to most of people. On the contrary, modern people are getting lost in the overwhelming trend of material, and are facing an unprecedented spiritual crisis. The paper discusses some thoughts and ideas in Walden, such as life of simplicity, return to nature, combined with the psycho of masses that can works in saving modern people from spiritual crisis.

Key Words: Walden; Henry David Thoreau; consumerism; materialism; modern spiritual crisis

Contents

1 Introduction 1

1.1 Thoreau and American Transcendentalism 1

1.2 Thoreau and Walden 2

2 The importance of the masses, the psychology of masses 4

3 Current situation 7

3.1 Social factors of the “Walden” time and nowadays 7

3.2 Modern spiritual crisis 8

3.2.1 Materialism 8

3.2.2 Consumerism 9

3.2.3 Spiritual wasteland 11

4 Connection between Walden and modern people 14

4.1 The ideas in Walden that can fit modern society and benefit modern people 14

4.2 Negative opinions about modernization in Walden 17

4.2.1 Negative opinions that worth learning 17

4.2.2 Negative opinions that cannot fit in modern society and weakness of Walden 19

Conclusion 21

References 22

Acknowledgements 23

Walden– A Medicine for Modern Spiritual Crisis

1 Introduction

1.1 Thoreau and American transcendentalism

Thoreau’s philosophy can be seen generally as transcendentalist philosophy. There are three main viewpoints of American transcendentalism: First, the transcendentalism believes there exists an ideal spiritual entity that transcends experience and science, that is, the over soul. The over soul contains everything, exists in everywhere, everything originates from it and belongs to it, and human spirit, which is consistent with the over soul, can grasp and understand it through intuition. Second, individual is an essential part of society, social changes and developments must be achieved through the cultivation and perfection of individuals. Third, to look at nature from a new perspective, to think that nature, which has its own life, is a symbol of the over soul and God, and is of vital importance (Ba, 2017). Therefore, people should use their intuition, should return to nature, integrate themselves into nature, and achieve the harmony between nature and human being. In short, the transcendentalism advocates that all things are dominated by the “over soul”, that everything in human world is a microcosm of the universe, and that people can transcend feeling and reason and directly understand the truth. It can be said that transcendentalism is endowed with the function of “mirror” of nature, through which humans have the opportunity to communicate with God, and nature can be regarded as an intermediary carrier for human beings to convey spiritual needs (Fu, 2017).

Henry David Thoreau believes that it is because of the nature’s feeding that human beings can survive for a long time. Therefore, there is commensalism that exists between the essence of human beings and nature (Gan, 2018). People are a part of nature and should live in harmony and intimacy with nature and all natural creatures. People should, based on love, awe and adore nature. Based on what have been mentioned above, Thoreau decides to devote himself to the nature and practice transcendentalist doctrine, so that he reaches the Walden Pond to live a simple life that integrated into nature. During this period, he tries to figure out what he lives for and to understand the essence of nature and life.

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