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by Henry David Thoreau

Walden The Ponds Summary

  • Next up: Thoreau describes Walden Pond and all its natural beauty.
  • One of the mysteries of the pond is how its shore came to be paved with stones. Thoreau relates a story that the pond was the scene of an ancient Indian ritual that angered the gods, who sent the stones rolling down the mountain after them. The stones collected around the pond, and so the pond is named after Walden, a female Indian who was the only survivor.
  • Just to spice it up, Thoreau also hypothesizes that the stones might have been left there when they were clearing the ground for the railroad. If that's the case, the pond might be named after a place in England – Saffron Walden – or be an abbreviated form of the words "Walled-in." The world may never know.
  • Thoreau describes the different species that live in the pond, including the pickerel. You might want to Google that one – it's a funny looking thing.
  • In Thoreau's opinion, the lake is like an eye on the earth. For him, the clear water of Walden Pond has an amazing reflective quality, and its surface is often broken up by leaping insects or fish. That's one weird stinkin' eye.
  • Thoreau laments the fact that so many trees have been chopped away from the pond. There are far fewer trees surrounding the pond than when he was a boy.
  • He also fears the possibility of Walden Pond being connected to Concord through a plumbing system.
  • Walden Pond might just be so marvelous because of its hermit-like isolation from the rest of the world.
  • To finish things off, Thoreau compares Walden Pond to other nearby ponds, including Flint's and White Pond. Go Team Walden!

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