Introduction to Literature and the Environment – Lecture 13: Blake, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Thoreau



both were in part two of the navigable lecture I'll just bring us up to full screen here and of course this is the new format for our friends at Prezi and you'll note that lecture 13 is of in the 18th century and not quite the 9th you've actually probably should we moved up a little because we're just going to be finishing with the 18th century today and then moving forward directly to 19th century Romantic poets so Prezi seems to be a little slow in responding today so Blake Wordsworth shall I and some introduction on the rose and background on throne Walden Pond Blake would be an 18th century poet oh this is incorrect that is not William Wordsworth but in fact William Blake who wrote the chimney sweeper sorry about that but this is a short essentially two poems we only look at one in the reader by that title the chimney sweeper it's what we would call an anti pastoral poem on a minute all to suggest that it's like Edward Burtynsky who we've seen before and this sort of use of anti pastoral noteworthy that William strode penned the first chimney sweeper song in 1635 so put that in context of things we looked at he'd be a contemporary sort of the end of bed Johnson's life John Duns contemporary as well so then we've had this of course in previous lectures about how and as far as air pollution London had such problems by that time so that's surprising the first chimney sweeper song comes along then but certainly the most famous comes in 1789 by William Blake and it shows true anxiety over London's increasing urbanization the growth of technological modernity it's widespread at this point so in a way you know it's focusing just on a particular environmental problem urban air pollution but really it's sort of harbinger or part of a generation of poems that are increasingly going to draw attention to urban problems and the problems that that aren't necessarily just connected to the city so you know ever since Gilgamesh we've seen the city being separated out from from wilderness and other places whatever is outside the walls of the city but increasingly now the the ideal locus Amenas sort of country lifestyle is not going to just be in opposition to the city or in opposition to the court but now in opposition to technological modernity wherever that shows up frequently it does show up in cities such as Manchester and and the like but wherever it is that's going to be seen as sort of the problem the thing the stretch inning wilderness and in those areas and you know I guess it goes without saying that then is a particularly modern preoccupation 200 250 years ago with this type of poetry emerging you can see that this particularly modern problem has come up that you know it's not just urbanization but technological modernity that's no threat environmentally it works like a chimney sweeper like one of Everton skis photographs right so it's looking straight at an environmental issue think of one of Burton skis photographs looking at a you know a strip mine coal mine and then the cultural fallout that comes with it so that's all in this pump so they'll think of one of written skis photographs or the things that we've saw in the film maybe the opening clip of the film that really long single shot where on the one hand you're looking at you know environmental issue the growth of the sort of technology that brings all this about and then the human fallout the humans there as well so in that sense you know in this case it is going to be focused on the exploitation of child labor and interestingly that's actually brought up in Williams Trude 1635 poem as well and by no means is that problem going away so you know we keep hearing today about places like China which part in ski visit it where human rights violations rights violations are still going on or suspected child labor so this sense Blake's poems clear and distinctly modern predecessor to works like Burton skis photograph it's distinctly modern because it is taking up the same issues of child labor because of the growth of modernity and also the way it functions because you know no longer we're looking at pastoral locales and just beautiful places we're going to see that in the moment with Michael words first poem but here we're actually looking at the problem head-on unabashedly staring it in the eye not just the environmental problem but the cultural fallout comes with it in this case child labor and if you remember you know burtynsky what he was doing by showing us China you know on the one hand we could just watch that my god these are the problems the China has see it as somehow disconnected from us but it only takes a moment's reflection to realize that for example all those consumer goods that are being produced in China are being produced in part for them parts for other places in the world but probably no more nowhere more than the United States will reconsider the problem and you when you put it that way when you see the suffering of individuals who bring this to us it's it's pretty heart wrenching so with Blake my father sold me while yet my tongue could scarcely cry weep weep weep weep so your chimneys I sweep and in soot I sleep three lines but the operative word here is your it's for your chimneys that I do this this is why I was sold into virtual slavery this is why you know weeping is all that I can do this is why I sleep in suit at night it is so that your chimneys can be clean Burtynsky is doing the same thing he's showing us a whole culture built around the production of things that we in the West use that we don't really want to thank much about no more than we want to think about a child being exposed to this sort of horrible life Blake in fact row to chimney sweepers poems he Illustrated both I just thought I'd bring this to your attention Blake is wonderful for the the hand painting he does of the manuscripts that the printed books that he has and if you ever get a chance to see one in the library or rare book library or museum definitely do they're they're just wonderful to say most are beautifully painted in watercolors and add another element to tea I'm the message that's being sent where you actually see the chimney sweeper but she in words alone Wordsworth Royce where's Blake really captures the the idea so we're going to go to Wordsworth now I should mention Wordsworth here is dated circa 1800 for this poem we're crossing now from the 18th into the 19th century Wordsworth Blake Shelley coming up are all known as Romantic poets that's with a capital R this is a genre a period of poetry that comes on the scene there is a distinct preoccupation with the natural world I'm going to see that in the minimum of the month Blanca and here too but just as with Blake's poetry there is also a preoccupation with the increased urbanization and as I suggested earlier the growth of technological modernity so in a way it's its environmental through and through even when the focus is on in the urbanization or industrialization or when it's on that it's clearly has environmental input import but if we turn away from it directly and face you know the natural world where it's imagined as being untouched by it you can see why that maneuver is happening here too right we're turning away from you know urbanization and technological modernity and all its problems trying to find some place free of it all this very pastoral move this happens also in the United States so romanticism of the capital R is a movement in England the way we're looking at it happens in other places like Germany with holder them as well but in the United States there's a there's a parallel movement known as transcendentalism which we'll talk about and we're going to be looking at henry david thoreau as part of that movement so wirksworth is a pastoral poem it's firmly in the tradition to Virgil's first eclogue so it tells the story of the loss of a place in this case a family from our farms who remember we had with meliboeus the loss of the family his farm as well so on the one hand is directing our attention to an endangered environment brings about environmental consciousness and it's a constant and also in the process names its reason for loss so pastoral directly in the tradition of Virgil's first eclogue you have a farm being lost you have the reason that it has been lost we saw that Millicent uterus we're discussing the reasons that's going to become clear in words for this poem as well not to give it away well I guess you've already read it but the fact is it's a distinctly modern reason why the poem the farm is lost it is depicted as a perfect locus of meanness in Michael so Wordsworth like Katherine Phillips you know wants to describe country life free of any problems we just saw with Katherine Phillips that to do that she has to leave off the ending of Horace's first epid but here he's just you know unabashedly describing something in the tradition of pastor or if you have any doubt that his pastoral it's literally the subtitle of his poem it's meant to be a life you know free of any problems is it realistic no Katherine Phillips knew it wasn't realistic Wordsworth does it not realistic but he wants to depict it that way for his reasons so this is something we just talked about with Blake earlier pasture imagine an urban danger here we have a new one it's not merely that cities and they're now quite a few of them cities are in England are springing up all over what we're much smaller places like Manchester will become full-fledged cities in highly urban highly industrial cities these are the first major industrial cities anywhere on the planet arguably historians will debate this but it is arguably the case the technological modernity shows up in England before it does anywhere else certainly in scope what happens there is just huge and it is capitalist modernity we saw already the critique of consumption with Sir John denims Cooper's Hill well you know here it's it's it's written large that's the value of wealth alone and it's now not only you know reaching small areas outside of the city so we saw this with ben jonson's to Penshurst where you know depends vs. is just a little south like 20 miles south of London and that is being encroached upon by the city well you know those sort of circle surrounding cities are still pretty limited all that means the cities are growing and with you no significant suburbs but now it is the case that this is reaching everywhere so this little farm out in the middle of nowhere this perfect blokus Amenas is now being touched by the growth of technological modernity and you know it's happening economically because and this is something that what point to who you know large-scale social movement in the 1970s in the United States with the loss of family farms well this is the beginning of it here the Wordsworth wants to draw attention to so it's a logo descriptive poem in the tradition of cooper's hill so you're encouraged to actually step into this scene you know cooper's Hill was inaugurating in a way or at least beginning to popularize this idea that you could describe an environment in a way that would encourage readers to imaginatively enter into it in other words you can't go to the actual place yourself the role of the artist the poet in this case is to to give you such lush description that you can imagine actually going there so if from the public way you turn your steps up the tumultuous book of glen head gill you will suppose that with an upright path your feet must struggle in such bold ascent no just think about what he's doing here first he's getting you to walk up a path but now you're actually imagining what that path is like how your feet have to struggle because it's such a rough path yeah path you know in such a bold ascent it's hard I'm up the pastoral mountain in front of you it's face to face but courage for beside the boisterous brook the mountains have all opened up out themselves and made a hidden valley of their own so this is great right you you you take this road less traveled it's tough it's hard to walk on and you know suddenly there's a hidden valley there no habitation there is seen so this is you know setting up to be wilderness which increasingly is going to be a preoccupation in this area but such as journey thither find themselves alone with a few sheep with rocks and stones so this is very much a pastoral locus to me does he wants you two to enter the world that he is building and note this is the opening 11 law you're walking into it you're experiencing yet you know if you don't know by now with the Sheep walking around and all the churn a pastor oh look I mean look at some issue you better reread it because it's clear that you are you Carrie guess he's encouraging us to walk right into the poem in its environment so something to think about though is what actually happens here in the poem and that is that the Michael who owns the farm loses it and why does he lose it well because you know his posterity who is supposed to take over the farm his son Luke has gone into the city to get a job so he does it in the story because there's a family debt that had to be paid but increasingly this is going to be the story of a demographic shift that is happening in this period what I mean by that is that people are increasingly going to be going to go going in mass from rural areas to the city to get jobs as the economy is beginning to change certainly for younger people that's a viable way to find new opportunities and as they leave in mass what it means is this older lifestyle is being threatened because everyone is leaving it you know the family farms are no longer the thing that people want people want to go into the city they see you types of possibility they see the opportunity for especially for larger families for everyone to have a job and that's increasingly becoming a problem so it is technological modernity and the shifts culturally that it is engendered that are beginning to affect everywhere in England no they're not building you know large factories like Manchester out in rural locales like we're my goal is supposed to take place but it is still affecting people there's a whole new sort of world is emerging and Michael is documenting that so I wanted to talk about Mont Blanc and not Blanc is important mount Blanc is written by words first friend personally beshoy written just a little after i mentioned that Michaels right around the Year 1800 this is 18 16 and a Montblanc if you didn't know is the tallest mountain in in Europe and what we're seeing here is the growth of a fascination with not only country places but places that are wild and rough so the word wilderness of course derives from the word wild it's the wild place and in this period the most wild places are going to be a fascination to writers and artists select the reason for that of course as everywhere throughout England is getting developed and is almost no place as Michael proves that is untouched by this people are going to want to see the most wild places yes they're still going to want to see the very picturesque farm areas and certainly someone like Wordsworth as we just saw with Michael writes about the picturesque farm place but increasingly we're going to want to see the sublime place sublime is a word introduced by both the manual kaun Yin & Bourke and it's it's an older term but mainly it's this idea of being you know it once finding a wilderness area sort of frightening and dangerous but because it is so all inspired being drawn to it as well that's increasingly going to be the way wilderness is being seen so Mont Blanc it is the highest mountain in Europe it's literally called the White Mountain snow cover you can see it's just a few decades before mont blanc is written by show that the mountain was climbed for the first time before that you know it is the most wild of all wild places it is the most wilderness place and increasingly I think it's fair to say as I do here that these places are being fetishized it's not only that people are idealistic Lee looking at them as finding them beautiful they just find them very exciting and they see them in a way that is sort of an over-the-top fetishization appreciation of them would not have been the case of generation or two before certainly when John eveland who we saw takes up the issue of urban air pollution in London and a work for the first time evilyn we know from his journal when he actually travels through the Alps which is where Mont Blanc is he found the profoundly frightening dangerous there was nothing all inspiring or beautiful about it was just a scary place and keep in mind this is Johnny blonde John evilyn is a you know huge gardener I mean if there was anyone in the period that appreciates nature and the second half of the 17th century you know John even would be among them I think yet even he finds a place like Mont Blanc frightening so it is sublime so extraordinary didn't inspire at all Shelley writes it was composed under the immediate impression of the deep and powerful feelings excited by the objects which it attempts to describe and as an undisciplined overflowing of the soul rests its claim to approbation on an attempt to imitate the untamable wildness and inaccessible solemnity from which rose the from which those feelings sprang so this is great right because this is not just words chilly constructing that that's the feeling to have shelly is reviewing that by 18 16 individuals people poets were increasingly actually feeling this right he is now you know his role as poet is going to try to have us feel the feeling that he has so not only is his job to describe the scene so completely that we can imaginatively enter it he wants to mediate the experience we have as well in a way which brings it which is best it can communicates what he's trying to communicate here this deep and powerful feeling excited by the object and you look at the mountain you're excited by it it's an undisciplined overflowing of the soul you know it's an attempt to imitate the untamable wildness and an accessibility so right this is great because you know we would call this today wilderness but there's still enough of the old word still hanging in here so it's not the untamable as we would say wilderness but the untamable wildness that's it's almost redundant right at this wild but virtue of being wild it's untamable now John even would have looked at this and he would have said yes it's untamable wildness isn't accessible and this is a bad thing but increasingly in this period and this is the key term here coming out of theorists from the 18th century Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant it's going to be seen the sublime as an extraordinary experience a valuable experience it is going to be seen as something that we should seek out and in Shelley's case then try to communicate to others it's just this this feeling that wilderness evokes and keep in mind that this is you know emerging right alongside of and this is not coincidental the growth of technological modernity so why are people beginning to seek out wilderness well because you know every word that they they they inhabit it's not so nice either because it's you know classically urban and the problems we've seen for thousands of years the people had with that are these new problems with technological modernity in the rise of capitalism that people are also going to have trouble with but no here is a chance to get away from that as much as you can and in Europe at least if you're going to stay on the continent this is where you're going to find it more than any other place so interestingly to show the environment and the wildness is a place of worship thus thou ravine of arc dark deep ravine now many coward many voiced veil over whose pines and craig's and caverns sail fast cloud shadows and sunbeams awful scene where power is likeness of the arm comes down from the ice Gulf that grid his secret throne bursting through these dark mountains like a flame of lightning through the tempest if you you know wanted to have a religious experience and there were a place that you could go to have it to Shelly this is it it is wilderness now that is taking the place of the church or temple from a few hundred years before you know people like Julian of Norwich would have locked themselves in a room try to have an experience of God the sort of ecstatic so the out-of-body experience do people like showing now you know it is nature itself which does this for this to happen by the way you're at least for devout individuals a shift would have to occur whereby God is actually seen as occupying this place sort of the missing link to get there would be Spinoza the philosopher he's coming out of reading Milton and others and he is a Jewish theologian and he sees the whole of the creation as being infused by God God is eminent everywhere so if you're religious and you're like Shella you see the environment is this all inspiring place it may well be because you see God actually is there this is God's greatest work too in this perspective from this perspective and God would would be there too and you know it's it's it's beautiful scary scene it's an awful scene and this this sort of you know the word awful wonderfully sort of sums up what we mean by sublime because it has that modern sense we would say something awful and which it's scary or dangerous but it also sort of is still evocative of its genealogy etymology rather them which comes from the word all it inspires all you know when you go to Mont Blanc that's what you feel intense all I mean it's scary and it's frightening that's part of it but it's all notice here you have power capitalized as a stand-in for God where power and likeness of the arm comes down from the ice gulfs that grids is the secret throne right it's not cannot ambiguous here power like God or like a God coming down from his icy throne passive personified here is an individual so this is it then this is this is a temple this is where God lives and God sort of comes down or godlike power comes down from it it's it's a remarkable inversion that we've seen from older periods Medieval and Renaissance where nature is fallen it's sort of the the home of the devil and all that is evil it is not something that has anything to do with God here deity itself resides in a place like this it's frightening but it's still for that reason that it pulls us in so in a general way then the Romantics really did transform nature it's not to be feared or exploited but instead appreciate it perhaps even worshipped yes feared a little in the sensitive inspires all but this is a sacred thing this is something that should be appreciated maybe even worshipped it's it's certainly not something that you should just you know feel content to exploit and damage any way you want I mean if this is the house of God temple of God of power then you know you shouldn't be in any way trying to exploit it we have similar attitudes today I would argue that these are not an eight they were not in a to John evilyn the second half of the 17th century that they were constructed over time you may not have read montblanc before but it and hundreds and and d thousands of works like it have construct this modern view of wilderness of wildness and you know we in term have inherited and because it's not only you know existing in poems like this but escaped into a popular culture and we see it everywhere you know you don't have to have read this for us to two now embody this attitude it's it's part of who we are see how this would work visually two years after mount Blanc the German poet Caspar David Friedrich did this poem there von der ER its meaning literally it means the the maunder above the sea of fog and it's a wonderful image of the European experience of the most wild so it's not named as Mont Blanc but it's someplace darn like it its its its craggy it's scary it's it's all inspiring and it's interesting because fritter cure the wonderful job of depicting this person here which is the normative European viewer and having the experience here so it's not just that person is not there he wants to draw attention to them and so much so you know notice the sight lines actually drop down on him it's sort of forming a little V pointing him out and we of course from a 21st century perspective would note that this is you know normative male white European wealthy from his clothes viewer but that is the romantic viewer increasingly you know there are going to be women writing romantic poetry as well but this is still pretty much the standard and this person has gone out to experience nature and all of its wildness this is meant to to to inspire all it's meant to be seen sort of scary I mean he's standing up here he could fall it's a dangerous place but he's gone there to experience nature this is the romantic movement depict it this is this is you know what they want what is he left obviously from his clothes he's left you know modernity the to be the beginning of the modern era with all its problems and all he's he someone has done that you know it's no worthy he's not a poor person and sits it's you know it's a different kind of thing here it's the way that it's being experienced by the normative European self of course that change but i do want to draw attention to that is the way it is now but yeah seeking out and experiencing wilderness in its absolutely most wild so just to give you an idea this is a picture of Mont Blanc as it would have been seen in as was seen in the 19th century painting and this is a picture of it today no it's not the Himalayas it's not nearly so high but for Europe it's a pretty pretty rough and rugged place far more than any place you would have in England so it Dwarfs English mount and such as the Fairfield horseshoe and this is the Fairfield horseshoe this is in the Lake District of England it's only a fraction of the height of Mont Blanc but increasingly people would go out to the lake district because this was the the wildest place or one of the wildest places in that in England the eighth the island itself and in fact I've it's not so large and it goes around like horseshoe here I've hiked it takes like a day to do and actually it drops down to a little village right here of grass mere which is where perhaps not surprisingly William Wordsworth lived so it's as far as England is concerned this is about as rural and as wild as you're going to get and if you wanted to go further which Shelley did you'd have to go to your proper and to mont blanc in the alps so let's talk about the row Thoreau is not a romantic with a capital R in the sense he's not part of that British or European movement but he is part of the same basic idea and this is known as American transcendentalism it's a preoccupation with the wild and going to the wild places and we just want to set this up and set up his background in the background of war he he did that experiment Walden Pond and then we'll take him up take words up again next time so throw rather walden is written in 1854 so seeing we moved ahead about 30 or 40 years some where we just were but sort of the end of this movement in a way the American movement is known as the transcendentalist movement it is generally you know agreed upon that it was founded by friend and mentor to thoreau which is Ralph Waldo Emerson who also very very much romanticized wilderness it's also the case that British alo British romanticism influence transcendentalism and it's the closest parallel to it in the United States that German philosophy people like Conte and others would influence the transcendentalist Eastern religion is going to increasingly be important things like the Hindu religion and mysticism both eastern and traditional European would influence these folks so it is a coming together of a lot of traditions like the Romantics though I think it's fair to say the throw made a religion of wilderness so although i've included Walden in the reader he also ordered for this course and you can order online the Dover edition of Walden you should really think about getting this anyone listening to the lecture it's a very inexpensive last I checked you could literally buy it for three hours and fifty cents that's the the actual list price of the paperback edition it's so inexpensive because it's out of copyright and over is taken upon itself as a press to reproduce these that works like this and it's just what can you get for three dollars and fifty cents you should you should get it so the comment on the back of our edition for natural ssas and early environmentalists henry david thoreau nature was of religion so think about the religious zeal with which shelley saw mont blanc the RO is experiencing something the same though he doesn't go to mont blanc he goes to a place that's a little more safer and manageable which is walden pond which is near where he lived but he very much wants to be closer to his God notice now you will increasingly see with Romantic poets nature is going to be capitalized following the convention of capitalizing God and it's really the the notion of nature with the capital and and God are merging together that's what Thoreau wants to find it is however highly romanticized and I'm saying this you know Trinity here with the small R is not part of that romantic movement but he still is romanticizing even fetishizing nature noteworthy because we have largely inherited throws view of nature we should remember that it's constructed in part by thorough so whenever you see a beautiful place where there's all inspiring on to my mom or nice little woods like where Walden is situated and you think of that as being so beautiful and wonderful and all don't forget it's been and a part it is constructed by throw maybe more than anyone else in the American tradition certainly in the 19th century I'll give you a little background on thorough though it's important to know where he's coming from because like the viewer in Fredericks painting Friedrichs painting he's relatively wealthy he's a standard normative white European in this case American male he actually attended harvard university as an undergrad so he's educated as well so he enacted very radical lifestyle changes by moving to Walden Pond but keep in mind many working-class individuals lived in similarly modest often far less desirable conditions so this is about a wealthy person moving to into a more modest environment and living way so but remember that you know people at the time are not very wealthy so for the most part throw notes in Walden that his cabin was made from an older shanty purchase from an Irish labor room James Collins who live there with this family of three so I passed Jim James Collins and his family on the road one large bundle held they're all bad coffee we were looking glass hens so even though thorough is suggesting a very radical some simple lifestyle and we saw this first beginnings just with someone like Ben Jonson Spencer's do we should consider more modest dwellings that's a choice for wealthy individuals like Johnson and his his patron Robert sydney and henry david thoreau as well but for many many people for most people during this time is not going to be a choice this is the the reality of the life they live so even though throw praises and in fact lives a far more modest lifestyle than Ben Johnson talks about in depends Hearst it is the case that you know that he was able to do this wrote because he was wealthy and free of economic motivation he didn't live this lifestyle because he he had to us because he wanted to and many years ago a student noted in a class i thought this particularly apt the walden is a bit of a how-to manual that's how to live as if you were poor for those who are not and it's kind of true and of course many help you manuals tell you how to get rich quick and try to tell you how to get from from not having a lot of money to having a lot throw wants to tell you if you have a lot of money how you can live very modest lifestyle it's it's interesting and it's interesting that he appeals of course to those of the united states who at least on a global level are well off when living at walden pond or something to keep in mind is that the town of concord i'll show you pictures in a moment it's not too far away so thorough almost every day one into town he is not living we were clear about this somewhere very remote like mont blanc where you know the nearest human habitation is miles or hundreds of miles away he's living within a mile of town he goes back every couple every day and he goes back every weekend for for dinner at his mother's house and also the project last just for one year in talk about this in walden the the work that we read its compressed into one year which lets you know that this is not you know literally the the journal of someone living there but constructed works something like a novel but in any event don't think of throws being you know far off the beaten path and then living a consistent lifestyle he's still very much in in town I didn't want you if you haven't read Thoreau to to not realize that throw is also an early protester of slavery and an important one yet very famous essay which I encourage you to read called civil disobedience written five years before Walden appears he developed the rationale for the modern passive resistance movements it was this article this essay rather would be influential on Tolstoy and Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King and others because an outline dawai of protesting slavery and injustice without doing so violently without meeting violence with violence in fact in Walden there's a mention of this incident that goes toward his protest of slavery he notes that I was seized and put in jail because as I have elsewhere related that would be on the essay on civil disobedience I did not pay a tax to nor recognize the authority of the state which buys themselves men women and children like cattle so throw is is very much a person of special conscience here and he is not the only one I mean this is what sets up you know were just a decade away from a war that would be fought to correct this injustice or at least tried to but at this time all you know taxes from people living up in Massachusetts where Thoreau lives and all is going to support slavery he doesn't want to be part of it he knows the failed to pay taxes for six years and civil disobedience Thoreau however and this is what's so important about his move is he argued against active ie violent protests of slavery instead he favored withdrawing all support from the enterprise his argument is the fam adoro t of individuals do the same as he did slavery according to throw would end it's a clever idea right so you don't have to actively you know wage warfare against the government that if you took away all your support if you didn't pay money you know the project would collapse because there'd be nothing to fund it that's the idea behind it it's a bit of a dicey move because even though you may be acting passively as we've seen recently with you know the Occupy movements that are going on in the United States the government doesn't always respond passively which is always an issue and in earlier periods especially where this is being done by Martin Luther King jr. and hot McGann d yeah the government didn't always respond passively but it's still desire not to buy into that too to act with conscience but to act passively it's worth noting from our environmental perspective that Thoreau is making a similar prescription in wall and sort of a thought of you know an approach of his that is consistent with if inducted in mass through his lifestyle would put an end to consumerism so if everyone did is he didn't didn't pay taxes to a government to support it slavery there'd be a collapse of the whole program in a simpler way if we stop buying all these incredible you know diverse things that are being sold to us as part of consumer culture and making a mistake 150 years ago this consumerist you know capitalist project is well underway Thoreau argues that it would do it fall away too so that's really one of his um his projects in walden is to get us to stop consuming things the way we do we'll talk about how that fits in with his project of moving to Walden Pond in other words you can be against consumerism you can try to affect it being reconstructed by not buying consumer goods but you could do that in a suburban urban setting or anywhere if the row however decides to like what like Wordsworth and Shelley because he's preoccupied with the wildness he decides to move there so Walden Pond is 20 miles from Boston it's still relatively rural a cow which is approximately the size and I note this for my Santa Barbara class as the Santa Barbara campus UC Santa Barbara campus it's about so if I think it's about a mile all together square in size and it's a mile from Concord Massachusetts as a side as an aside I used to visit this kind of on most weekends when I lived in Cambridge Massachusetts in the Boston area it's a 22 mile ride by bicycle which I used to make it a 45 mile round trip and it's very nice very rural accounts stayed that way but that is Walden Pond it would look pretty similar to throw something to keep in mind though that it is not wilderness in the sense that it has already been extensively modified by human action so when the first North Americans got here there was a lot of clear-cutting of old-growth forests this project by the way is not new to Europeans pre-columbian people also practice agricultural practice landscape modification extensively so through burning setting of forest fires and burning but in any event it's still very much what throw is living there not the way it would have been before human habitation so in that sense it's not like Mont Blanc this wild wildness but as close as you're going to get to to a little town like Concord and it is the case and people like literary critic Leo marks notice this 50 years ago that there is also the intrusion of technological modernity in Walden Pond for thorough and that is the rail line if I could go back here I might actually even be able to show that to you rail line runs through it this is actually this line here is the right away for the road which goes through Walden Pond so the whistle of the train will be something that we hear again and again in Walden and it's meant by throw to you know be symbolic of the fact that even in a rural locale like this that he sought out you cannot escape it it's still there so next time we're going to be taking up the text of Walden directly and dealing with the issues that he does but I I did want to show you how all of these works are in this same tradition of being aware of the growth of technological modernity which is not just problems associated with the city but these new modern lifestyles that we're living which not only create problems you know individually for us but create problems from an environmental point of view the knee-jerk response will be to look to rural locales as an answer to this to seek out wildness to sort of turn away from the problems of modernity and and see the somehow corrective and wilderness this is going to be the movement that's made in the early 19th century and into the through and throughout the whole century really just something to think about whether or not this is the way of approaching environmental problems because in some sense with thoreau especially it's a turning away from them it's literally moving away from them trying to escape them by by moving to to the wild to wilderness by the end of the 20th century i should say this this movement is going to be questioned as people will wonder if it might be better in fact to to stay in the places that we inhabit the you know reconsidered re-imagining the way urban areas can live and trying to make them better things like urban farming and elsewhere but we're getting ahead of ourselves by 150 years next time we'll take up Walden and the implications that it has environmental okay take care

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