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Similarities and Differences Between Thoreou and Whitman

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Although "Walden" by David Thoreau and "Live Oak with Moss" by Walt Whitman have various similarities in their writings, they also have differences making each of their texts personal and peculiar. They both share a self-fulfilling affect of nature upon them, though in various ways, but nature works perfectly in each of their emotional and psychological needs. While the same nature and source, it bestows two different unique personalities reaping different effects. Both authors are deriving their inspiration from the same source in entirely separate applications; Thoreau receives his inspiration intellectually in solitude by nature where as Whitman conceives it as a non-judgmental advocate that it takes its course and is perfectly accepted.

Thoreau views nature as an independent thought accommodating personal relations. He used nature as a crutch to help stabilize himself until he became self reliant by immersing himself in nature with no human company, thus enabling him to generate his own thoughts due to the lack of pressure to conform to society. "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life." Thoureau felt contentment and satisfaction with nature alone in solitude. With no one but nature with him, he couldn't conform to society causing him to be a more independent, strong individual. "To drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.." He didn't need a companion to complete him as a person but only the simplicity of life. Whitman on the other hand could not live life in solitude. "But I wondered how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there, without its friend, its lover near--for I knew I could not." Contrary to Thoreau, self reliance was something He could never deprive himself of in his life. This work of writing reinstates various times him never being in solitude. Poem seven in his writing states how he wants to be remembered with a companion rather than alone. "I will tell you what to say of me: publish my name and hang up my picture as that of the tenderest lover, the friend, the lovers portrait, or whom his friend, his lover, was fondest.." He fears lonliness, isolation and the actuality of being alone.

Whitman views nature as a non-judgemental image of acceptance. He compares his affection and personal life with metaphors and symbolic resemblences to nature. He conveys the beauty of nature to his own personal feelings. As a gay poet, his writings express romance and affection towards



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