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by Henry David Thoreau

Vision and Awakening

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Walden opens and closes on the theme of waking up (think Lost), and Thoreau continuously emphasizes the idea of opening our eyes to see the natural and spiritual beauty of the world. Actually, we also need to open our eyes in order to read. Thoreau's book isn't for the half-asleep, that's for sure. In one memorable scene, Thoreau brings together the motif of opening our eyes to see the world and opening our eyes to read. He criticizes the average newspaper reader, who reads about sensational incidents like a man losing his eyes, never thinking for a moment that he has already lost his own eyes – that is, the living, understanding, critical eye (Economy.18).

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