Saturday, July 26, 2008

Walden (+Project) Sucks - Here's Why - And Here is my Solution

If you can talk about food in a book about food for about 30 pages and still go strong, you may qualify for the definition of mentally insane. I'm sure any incoming junior and senior that takes/has taken Honors English 11 will know about this book. Many define it as socialism, but in socialism the people voluntarily work for the greater good of the community, acting as one entity that helps eachother to fuel society. We all can agree that socialism, although quite the utopian ideal, is quite unrealistic. Humans do not have the programming to work together as equals, for not all humans are equals. Some are smarter than others, some are stronger, and some are less corrupt.

Instead of promoting socialism, Thoreau's "teachings" verge on anarchism. He encourages that people stop working for society to better themselves within the community, and further goes on to say how anything past minimal living is, without going further into an analysis of the book, evil. If everyone decided one day that they would not contribute to society and only care about themselves, the medical fields would not be advanced. Food would not be cultivated fast enough to supply for the mass of people. Sure, it would be ideal for everyone to grow their own crops and hunt their own meat, but unrealist, due to the fact that humans work good in groups with specialization. Instead of specializing to help the community, he advocates every man for himself, enjoying himself without regard for other people. Moreover, without such specialization and group cooperation that drives society and makes everyday life easier, there would be no government at all. If someone found enjoyment in arson, they could burn down houses as they pleased. If they liked another person, since theres no government or rules they could just very well...well, you get the point.

Opinions aside, anyone who has taken Honors English knows about the journal that is needed for Walden. That is 90 pages worth of analysis on the book, about 1:3 ratio. Absolute fail. Now, in the directions, it says to fill the entire journal, and recommends that you read 10 pages a day. That would mean about 3 1/3 pages per every 10 pages if we are to go by the ratio. I find that....unrealistic. Furthermore, the chapters are not very uniform in length, so that leaves reflections at odd times. Wouldn't it be better just to read the entire book all at once? However, that poses another problem: How can I do all of those reflections if I do the entire book all at once?

I have come up with a logical solution to this dilemma: I will read the book at once in a day, then do a near 100 page reflection/psychoanalysis on Thoreau, his methods, and why he advocates what he does. Not only will I refer back to the text, but I will also use outside sources. It will be so epic that she won't even read it, she will just look at all the footnotes and passages, and see how intense this was that I will get an A for Term 1. I will be posting the book when I am done with it, that is, my book. I do need a title though...which I'm thinking would be "On the Account of the Psychoanalysis of Thoreau through use of the textual references of Walden and others which concern it"


  1. Do you have to do the journal in addition to visiting Walden and doing a project?

    Pretty good analysis of Walden and like you said what he preached was not exactly socialism. Anarchism? Slightly, I guess.

    "Nature Boy went home on weekends to raid the family cookie jar. While living the simple life in the woods, Thoreau walked into nearby Concord, Mass., almost every day. And his mom, who lived less than two miles away, delivered goodie baskets filled with meals, pies and doughnuts every Saturday. The more one reads in Thoreau's unpolished journal of his stay in the woods, the more his sojourn resembles suburban boys going to their tree-house in the backyard and pretending they're camping in the heart of the jungle." - An Underground Education : The Unauthorized and Outrageous Supplement to Everything You Thought You Knew About Art, Sex, Business, Crime, Science, Medicine, and Other Fields of Human Knowledge

  2. Welcome to the Étudiant, Mogni. Love this post, just be careful to follow all of Ms. Tinker's directions. She's an anal-compulsive grader. Also, see if she'll let you guys watch her Walden-related videos. I don't even know if she still has mine, but it was five minutes of pure sarcasm. Justin Delaney and Don Andrews made a nice parody, and Jason Parad's was an over-achievement in the Jason Parad spirit. His is a twenty-minute masterpiece full of stock footage that cites EVERY SINGLE TIME Thoreau contradicts himself!

  3. Wow, that's great. Yeah, we have to go to Walden pond as well...which really fails. Will she really get mad if we don't follow every direction? Because I want to do one huge reflection instead of the small ones, and I think that'd actually make it easier. It'd be funny if it ended up becoming bigger than Walden itself...

  4. I've had teachers who practically skim the assignment and hand out 100s like they're trying to get rid of them. Ms. Tinker is NOT one of those teachers. She'll scrutinize your shit, and take months to hand it back.:D

  5. Yeah, follow Ben's advice. Haha.

    This is nothing in comparison to what we had to do. I feel sorry for you. I would never be able to do a 90 page journal on Walden. Ever.

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  7. I played Fugazi during my presentation. It was fun. I got an A.

    I also went to Walden Pond and made a portfolio out of the pictures I took. That was not fun.

  8. I'm going to have to turn on my BS Machine to help me through this project.


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