Thoreau's Walden, Emerson, and Into the Wild

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Living in Isolation
Americans have become accustomed to a society where consumerism, technology, and the ambition of possessing material goods have become the basis of living. American writers and visionaries such as Henry David Thoreau, Chris McCandless, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and other poets have challenged this occurrence by taking it to the next level and, by doing so; have thrown light upon this endemic. Thoreau arguments this by isolating himself from society in Massachusetts near Walden Pond and writes his own work Walden which exists as his own declaration of independence, where he conducts a personal social experiment and lives alone for two years. Chris McCandless, a visionary who wants to get away from ordinary life, travels two years to Alaska with no money, food, or transportation after his car dies. Emerson writes the essays Self Reliance and Nature regarding the understanding of life through avoiding conformity and self-consistency. All authors contend with the idea of society as it is to the point of isolation, even to the point of death in McCandless’s case. Thus, Thoreau’s beliefs about life, conveyed in his work Walden, do consist of merit regarding one’s over involvement in technology and pose the theory of ultimate simplicity, but a line should be drawn in the over-simplicity of one’s life, proven in the movie Into the Wild with the unfortunate ending of Chris McCandless.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, a nineteenth century American philosopher and essayist, expresses his ideas regarding society as a whole. He writes the essays Self-Reliance and Nature to express his thoughts on the topic. In Self-Reliance, he conveys his idea of trusting oneself in that every human is a genius. He writes that everyone owns their individual thoughts and perceptions. He also writes that society has infringed on one’s thoughts and has taken away the genius of man. Society has taken away and persuaded man’s thoughts and only children who have not experienced...
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