Analyzing Excerpts of Walden
Assign students readings from Walden for homework and then hold class discussions about key statements. The following excerpts are usually helpful for students to understand Thoreau’s life at Walden Pond.
“I lived alone in the woods…in a house which I had built myself…and earned my living by the labor of my hands only."
“I was also serenaded by a hooting owl."
“I rejoice that there are owls."
“This is a delicious evening, when the whole body is one sense, and imbibes delight through every pore."
“In warm evenings I frequently sat in the boat playing the flute, and saw the perch, which I seem to have charmed, hovering around me."
“In such a day, in September or October, Walden is a perfect forest mirror, set round with stones precious to my eye."
Also ask students to make a list of ten examples of nature imagery as they are reading “Walden." Then hold a class discussion to help students analyze the power of imagery in “Walden."