“Walking” vs. Epilogue
The essay “Walking” by Henry Thoreau was written with a very simple point of view; the narrator, whom dedicates much of his day to walking through the forest, is more than content doing just that. It is when people begin to change things on him when he starts to feel he is losing control.
The narrator is more or less a very simplistic person who is not ready for change. He walks everyday through the forest not being able to understand how people do not. “I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that- sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements… When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shoekeepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them, – as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not stand or walk upon, – I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago” (Thoreau 262). One can see that the narrator is very passionate about his way of life. He is disturbed by the thought of people corrupting the wild. “Nowadays almost all man’s improvements, so called, as the building of houses, and the cutting down of the forest and of all large trees, simply deform the landscape and make it more and more tame and cheap” (Thoreau 264). He has a very negative outlook on the changes that are being made.
“Skills once learned are as natural to us as breathing. Above all, we are oriented” (Tuan199). I believe that since walking through nature has become a way of life for the narrator, it is equivalent to what Tuan calls a skill. The narrator has become oriented in his way of life and is not ready for change whatsoever. It is very natural for him to wake up and experience the things he experiences every day. If this were to abruptly change, he’d be very upset about the new way of life.