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Walden

Walden

by Henry David Thoreau

The Pond

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

"I am thankful that this pond was made deep and pure for a symbol," writes Thoreau (Pond in Winter.6). Walden Pond is not just the setting, but also an important symbol in the book. Everything about Walden Pond – its clarity, its reflective surface, its depth, the specific qualities of its water and its ice – provides Thoreau with yet another occasion to contemplate some aspect of human life. Then, of course, there's the spectacle of the ice-collectors harvesting the ice, Walden Pond's only real commodity. Because of his previous comments, Thoreau has helped us appreciate both the greed that drives the collectors, as well as the pond's seeming immunity to this violation. Walden Pond is the "earth's eye," he writes, "looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature" (Ponds.18). The pond is deep, and so is Thoreau – majorly.

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