Cronon and Thoreau

Thoreau and Cronon both appreciate the wild and could have been great friends. They both have criticized mankind and how we commercialize nature. While Cronon talked about mankind commercializing the wild, Thoreau blames life on getting in the way of the ability to be able to walk in nature for hours at a time.

Thoreau has a very unrealistic expectation of the human population. Thoreau believes that mankind should be out walking for hours at a time, just moseying through fields and trails. However, that is basically impossible. The only way that could be plausible is if people did not sleep at all or there were more hours in a day. Life gets in the way of taking time to enjoy nature sadly. Cronon believes that Thoreau is lonely but I disagree in a way. I think it is very relaxing to walk alone and it seems that Thoreau agrees, enjoying the company of himself.

There have been a few times where I have been able to walk outside for about an hour but never have I been able to walk outside for more than three. Life just gets in the way and I have to go back to being indoors. There is always work that needs to be done. Thoreau states that he doesn’t understand how women stay in the house all day to clean and cook, but I doubt he would have offered to help his wife if he had one. Cronon and Thoreau were very similar to me, wanting us to be in touch with nature but not ruining it by capitalizing on it and taking control of the wild.

5 Replies to “Cronon and Thoreau”

  1. I do believe that you don’t always have to walk out hours at a time. Though he is right that we should take the time to relax and enjoy nature without neglecting responsibility.

  2. I agree with you that now a days Thoreaus ideals of how life should be lived are totally unrealistic, i mean for heavens sake for 12 years youre in school for 8 hours of your life, and doing sports or having a job doesnt give you time. I think his ideals would have been better for an earlier time when people had more time to live freely and could enjoy the outdoors more. I definitely agree on what you’re saying about how he doesnt understand how women can be in the hosue doing chores all day and youre right, he wouldnt have offered to help. Also in the olden days although it was pretty sexist, women were not allowed to be anything but caregivers and stay at home so he says all this in astonishment when hes a man and he would see a women like this as well.

  3. I feel very similarly to you! I feel like they would have been good friends. It’s almost surreal how Thoreau managed to walk for so long at a time, we have so much we have to do that it’s as you say. We need more hours, or less sleep. I personally however, am not willing to part with the little sleep I get already.

  4. “Thoreau states that he doesn’t understand how women stay in the house all day to clean and cook, but I doubt he would have offered to help his wife if he had one.” I laughed out loud at this, it’s so true!

  5. I have to disagree here, Abby. Thoreau did not think that everyone should take hours out of their day to walk. He even goes so far as to say it is a god-given gift that he is privileged enough to be able to walk as he does. He speaks of “Walkers” being an ancient order akin to that of Chivalry, and that a select few have the noble disposition to do so. I think a lot of people get caught up in the way that he compares others to himself. He’s not saying that others need to follow him, or that others are lesser for not doing what he does. He’s just trying to impart his experience and help others think of nature in a more spiritual and connected way.

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