The Transcendentalist Bible vs. The Actual Bible: Scriptural and Ideological Parallels in 'Walden' 11th Grade

American culture has a notoriously rapid pace and obvious state of exhaustion which accompanies an overexertion of the mind, body, and spirit of a person. In this hustle and bustle it becomes easy to lose sight of the ideals set for happiness and overall lifestyle. At some point in life the question of if it was all worth it for the end goal must be asked, and it is in this quest for purpose and meaning that many of the ideas presented in Thoreau’s memoir Walden fall. While many of his views are in sync with the teachings of the Bible on how Christians should live a meaningful and fulfilling life, others are in complete contradiction. Thus, it becomes necessary to determine the differences between the values of Thoreau and biblical authors, as both works contain ideas still applicable in the constant race of modern society. While Thoreau and the biblical authors agree on some points such as the devaluation of material possessions, others such as the eternal value of the present and the presence of the success-granting hand of God are different between the two works.

The most prominent instance of similarity between the Bible and Thoreau is seen in the attitude towards worldly, material possessions. Stances on materialism and...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 1526 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 10556 literature essays, 2654 sample college application essays, 575 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in