S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원) Journal of humanities (인문논총) Journal of Humanities vol.32 (1994) (인문논총)
헨리 데이비드 소로우 : 그의 시의 삶과 삶의 시
Henry David Thoreau's Life of Poetry and Poetry of Life
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 인문학연구소
- 인문논총, Vol.32, pp. 1-18
- Even though Emerson early on saw in Thoreau the makings of a great American poet, Thoreau is mostly remembered as an environmentalist and civil rights advocate. When we consider the fact that the term environment was not even heard of in Thoreau's lifetime, we realize the deapth and width of Thoreau's vision. In this respect Thoreau was not a run-of-the mill poet. The fact that his major ideas have been picked up by many leaders in different countries in the 20th century long after his death indicates the importance and relevance of his ideas even today. His two main ideas can be summed up as follows: the interconnectedness of man and his surroundings and the danger of America's expansionist ambition exhibited in the Mexican War(1846-1848). In this regard Walden and Civil Disobedience deserve our close attention. Walden is a product of Thoreau's experiment with "Simple Living" on the shore of Walden Pond in Concord, MA, from 1845 to 1847. It is also his prose poem in that Walden is not a collection of chronological records of his life during that period, but an edited and polished version of a literary work. In Walden Thoreau reflects on the power as well as tyranny of nature in his seclusion from civilization. By doing so he urges us to value frugal and simple life face to face with nature. Civil Disobedience, on the other hand, seems to be different from Walden at first sight. This initial reaction on our part is erroneous. Civil Disobedience can be considered as a concrete guideline to Simple Living. By maintaining that ''the least government is the best government," Thoreau shows how an ideal government can promote individual rights and freedom.