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Walden Chapter Nine:

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Hannah Huffman

on 13 February 2014

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Transcript of Walden Chapter Nine:

Walden Chapter Nine: The Ponds
Summary
Having returned to the woods and resumed his solitary, tranquil life, the narrator spent most of his time being continually "refreshed" by rambling about the surrounding countryside. He climbed Fair-Haven Hill and enjoyed the "ambrosial" flavors of ripe huckleberries and blueberries. Occasionally, after his hoeing was done for the day, he went fishing, sometimes with an elderly fisherman who also enjoyed the pond. On warm evenings, the narrator simply drifted about in his boat, playing his flute and observed the perch circling below him. Thus he spent his days and nights, enjoying a kind of perfect contentment and ease.

The narrator turns next to the center of all of this happy activity, Walden Pond, and gives a minute description of it which comprises most of the chapter. Then he describes the other bodies of water in the Concord area: Flint's Pond, Goose Pond, White Pond, and Fair-Haven Bay.
The Purity of Walden Pond
-The pond is a symbol for purity.

- How to Read Literature Like a Professor- water is used for baptism=purification

-The pond is "so remarkable for its depth and purity."

-Repeatedly, he makes this point: "it is a clear and deep green well"; "this water is of such crystalline purity"; "the water is so transparent"; "the bottom is pure sand" "it is pure at all times"; and "all the fishes which inhabit this pond are much cleaner, handsomer, and firmer fleshed than those in the river and most other ponds, as the water is purer.
Important Quote #1
"A field of water betrays the spirit that is in the air. It is continually receiving new life and motion from above. It is intermediate between land and sky."
Important Quote #2
"A lake is the landscape's most beautiful and expressive feature. It is earth's eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature."


-By personifying nature, Thoreau can more easily show how it can be a source of inspiration. Naturally, we relate more easily to things like us, so giving nature human characteristics allows us to better understand it.
-He is transforming the physical environment into a spiritual vision, with religious rather than practical or scientific meaning.
-The phrase “the spirit that is in the air” is more reminiscent of a preacher or poet than a naturalist. It is hard scientifically to define what exactly the “new life” is that comes to the water from the sky, but in a spiritual context it makes perfect sense.
Bibliography
Lowe, Steve, Henry David Thoreau, Robert Sabuda, and Anne McGrath. Walden. New York: Philomel, 1990. Print.
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