Shinn Chen

English 11 H
Period 1
Walden Chapter 9
In this chapter of Walden, titled “The Ponds,” Henry David Thoreau
relates the ponds, especially Walden Pond, to something that is so pure
that it surpasses the understanding of coarse and dull human beings. He
describes the pond as something that has never aged, never changed under
the pressures and effect of man; it is timeless and ageless. He describes
the water as so pure that you can often see twenty to thirty feet to the
bottom and some consider it even infinitely deep. The water of the pond is
often so smooth and transient that it almost seems like a mirror made of
absolutely nothing. The virgin pond has been unaffected by man and it is
almost divine in its purity, impossible for man to comprehend. The
profound beauty of Walden offers a stark juxtaposition to the areas of
human encroachment such as the railroads that travel along it for a short

The way that Thoreau describes Walden Pond is so articulate and
moving that it almost brings the image alive. You can almost vicariously
experience the beauty and breathtaking splendor of the crystal clear lake.

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He describes every aspect of the pond to such minute detail that by the end
of the chapter, you almost feel as if you’ve been to Walden Pond numerous
times before. He goes into such detail in the rippling of the water that
you can imagine exactly what it would look like; the imagery that Thoreau
uses is so vivid and lush that I almost developed a sense of envy that he
could experience such beautiful country while I live in a homogeneous land
of identical houses and sterile, manufactured scenery.


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