An Analysis of Thoreaus View of Ecology Reflected in Walden毕业论文

 2021-04-02 11:04

摘 要

亨利·戴维·梭罗(Henry David Thoreau,1817-1862),是美国19世纪的超验主义文学家和自然保护主义思想家。他的代表作《瓦尔登湖》被当今生态批评家布伊尔尊称为“绿色圣经”。该书生动地记录了梭罗在湖畔度过的长达二十六个月的耕作和思考的历程。本文从生态批评的视角入手来分析梭罗在《瓦尔登湖》中所体现的人类中心主义,生态中心主义与生态整体主义思想。通过从书中举例具体分析这三种思想从而来体现梭罗思想境界的提升和超越,教导世人要以整体性的眼光和态度去处理人与自然的关系。



1. Introduction 1

2. Demonstration 2

2.1 A brief introduction to eco-criticism 2

2.1.1 Anthropocentrism 3

2.1.2 Eco-centrism 3

2.1.3 Ecological holism 4

2.2 Anthropocentrism reflected in Walden 4

2.2.1 Desire of material things 4

2.2.2 Indifference to birds and animals 6

2.3 Eco-centrism reflected in Walden 6

2.3.1 Description of the scenery around the lake 6

2.3.2 The relationship between man and animals 7

2.4 Ecological holism reflected in Walden 8

2.4.1Becoming a piece of pine needles 8

2.4.2Sharing the common sense with nature 9

3.Conclusion 10

Work cited 11

Bibliography 12

An Analysis of Thoreau's View of Ecology Reflected in Walden

  1. Introduction

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), is a transcendentalism writer and nature preservation thinker of the 19th century in the United States. His masterpiece Walden is called "Green Bible" by the current ecological critic Buil(1). The book vividly records the twenty-six-month-long progress of farming and thinking that Thoreau spent on the lake. Walden is rich in content and profound in meaning. It shows the real world of Thoreau to the people of the world. Buil thought that rereading Thoreau and redefining his cultural meaning would help to improve our understanding of the Environmental Imagination of the United States.Only by putting Thoreau in the context of a broad and diverse environment, can we have a more comprehensive understanding of him (Buell 67).

Born in Concord, Mass., Thoreau went to the best middle school and best university---Concord High School and Harvard. He was a talented student who graduated from college at the age of twenty. When his friends were choosing their careers, or were eager to take well-paid jobs, he decided to resist all the temptations and go to the Walden Lake to live self-sufficient life in solitude, farming and thinking for more than two years. There, Thoreau's ideological realm was further upgraded and surpassed. He opposed the anthropocentrism that constantly destroys the ecological balance for the sake of mankind's own desires and advocated respecting and cherishing all life in nature and denouncing any act that would undermine the integrity of nature. However, this does not mean that Thoreau is an extreme eco-centrism advocate. Such superficial "anthropocentrism" implies that Thoreau advocates the equality of the status between both man and nature through the emotional resonance so as toachieve the harmony of ecological holism.

Thoreau had always been an obscure American romantic writer and he was criticized in the literary world at that time.He was accused of following his mentor Emerson's transcendentalist ideology, without his own independent literary views and ideas.The famous literary critic James said Thoreau would only steal apples from Emerson's orchard”(qtd. in Walter 1). Even Emerson said in Thoreau's funeral speech that Thoreau has many talents, but he failed to make the most of them. (qtd. in Walter 23).In the eyes of most people around him, he owned an eccentric character, wasting his good education at Harvard and lounging around the mountains of Concord.Such evaluations almost ended his literary career. However, when the wheel of history turned to modern society,faced with the deteriorating natural environment, people gradually realized the significance of the natural care and life philosophy embodied in Thoreau's works.Thoreau's Walden is undoubtedly one of the even best literary works in the United States.He also becomes a great literary giant in American history.According to John Updike, who wrote the preface to Walden, Thoreau is “a reclusive saint” (qtd. in Thoreau 1)

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