The Pursuit and Comprehension of the Wild (2)
Thoreau makes clear in the first sentence of “Walking” that nature in its most intense form — “absolute freedom and wildness” — is his subject. Throughout the essay, he exalts unconfined wildness in both nature and man, and rejects the forces (the past, society, and the materialistic values of the present) that inhibit the full experience of nature and that limit thought and expression. The heightened, unrestrained, frequently impassioned rhetoric of the piece stylistically reinforces Thoreau’s message.
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