Critical Essays On Henry David Thoreaus Walden
I hear of a convention to be held at Baltimore, orelsewhere, for the selection of a candidate for thePresidency, made up chiefly of editors, and men who arepoliticians by profession; but I think, what is it to anyindependent, intelligent, and respectable man what decisionthey may come to?
ERIC - Thoreau: A Collection of Critical Essays
F. O. Matthiessen connects Thoreau with socialism in . Matthiessen was concerned with the text, the art itself, not the artist so much. Matthiessen said that Thoreau's individualism was inflated, that Thoreau believed in collective action. Meyer, while lauding the contribution of Matthiessen to study of , saw Matthiessen as too political in his assessment of Thoreau, "Matthiessen allows his enthusiasm and appreciation for Thoreau's art to interfere with a view of politics that would be more in keeping with his own values, values which were highly suspicious of Transcendental individualism." (101) Please remember that Matthiessen is noted as changing the face of American criticism from the artist to the art.
Another critic, Vernon Parrington, would praise Thoreau as truly original and independent. "Parrington transforms what several of his contemporaries[such as Atkinson] considered to be Thoreau's selfish tenacity into a virtue. Thoreau's unwillingness to compromise was not a sign of perversity but of principle." (40) The political anarchist image of Thoreau does not disturb Parrington, who considered him American in political thought: "Parrington places Thoreau in the liberal tradition by tracing the political ideas in "Civil Disobedience" back to William Godwin's (p. 409, Parrington), which helped inform Jefferson. . . ." (42)
Online literary criticism for Henry David Thoreau
The 1950s, the age of McCarthyism, reflected the ignorance of his politics again. The influence of Matthiessen is evident in how Thoreau's political thought diminished and literary art form increased, "Commentaries on Thoreau tended to be about how he expressed his ideas rather than about what his ideas were." (110) Stanley Hyman, chief critic during the fifties and one of the most respected scholars on Thoreau, cites style as more important that politics in Thoreau. He follows, of course, Matthiessen. Meyer traces this view of elevated artist as tied to Hymen's personal view, which once again shows us the "usefulness" of Thoreau. Hyman places Thoreau in the "compartmentalized functionaries" of Emerson; one is an artist and that is it.
Critical Essays on Henry David Thoreau's Walden by …
In the 1960s, Thoreau became not only relevant but almost a popular icon. "He became important to the reform impulse of the 1960s, and as that impulse spread so too did Thoreau's political reputation"(152). Carried over from the fifties was the beginning of the civil rights movement. Martin Luther King would use Thoreau to show the path of noviolent resistance, but once again he was using Thoreau, not studying him. "Resistance to Civil Government" was used by everyone from the Beats to the Pacifists. Staughton Lynd, a New Left historian, claimed that Thoreau was both violent and nonviolent, which would seem to follow from the dichotomy of messages in "Resistance to Civil Government" and "A Plea for John Brown." Meyers claims that "Lynd does not make an issue of the means of reform, because he is interested in gathering "non-aligned individuals" of the new radicalism under one umbrella in order that they might discover what unites them-their insistence on direct action as a response to injustice" (165) Some attacks on Thoreau came out of this period that still focused on his isolationism and his "estrange[ment] from collective action and the specific needs of the people" (170)
In The Context Of Critical Thinking What Is Meant By The Wor
Ed. Ann Woodlief. Covers Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Theodore Parker, Amos Bronson Alcott, Jones Very, William Ellery Channing, Christopher Cranch, Orestes Brownson, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody; contains articles about the roots of American Transcendentalism and its legacy; reprints important essays; has books reviews, recommended links, and more.