2.22.2008

Strange Body
Thoreau's Journal: 21-Feb-1842

I must confess there is nothing so strange to me as my own body. I love any other piece of nature, almost, better.

24 comments:

Satyam said...

Thoreau does not feel at peace with himself. Like many other people all over the world, they criticize themselves for the other things they see as better. They don't recognize the fact that the best is inside of you and only you--not anyone else.

Carly Mathis said...

I feel that Thoreau's insecurity may have given him more to write about. Since he was not conceited he could see other things as beautiful and wrote about them. However, I also feel that his insecurity could have its disadvantages as well.

hannah said...

I totally agree, the human body is so weird compared to other things in nature. For example i think we are the only mammals that only have thick fur of the top of our heads. Very Peculiar

clyle said...

Oh but Satyam, you missed the concept my child. One of Thoreau's main beliefs is that the possibilities of all mankind are endless. Yes, he is fascinated with growth of the inner self, but you cannot forget to look at his longing for spiritual unity of all.

zlee said...

I really like this quote; I feel exactly the same way. I agree with Hannah. The human body is a very strange thing, but it is also very beautiful. I also agree with Carly that insecurity can be a good thing. In Thoreau's case, it allowed him to look at things in a different light. Insecurity allows you to become better at whatever you are doing. If you think that you are the best, then there is no motivation to do better.

Erin Johnson said...

I also feel that our body is way more complex than most things in nature. We have to bathe our bodies and do a lot of grooming. Other things in nature seldom have to worry about these types of things,

haley said...

i think in some ways we all think like this. At some point in our lives we are either self conscious about our bodies or come to a point where our bodies feel awkward and unpredictable. Then when we look out at nature or something else in the world it's like we almost automatically find something else better than our perception of our body.

DEVON B. said...

thoreau almost looks down upon self-love. it seems as if he thinks that we are insignificant compared to be beauty in nature. Thoreau might have been insecure, but i think he believed that people should not worry about the outer appearance. the only outer beauty that should be praised is nature, which he feels a great connection with.

JButlerS said...

I believe Thoreau realizes the hideousness of the asymetrical human body. Everything else in nature has a natural beauty, unaffected by vanity or pride. The human body is changed to conform and does not have the natural beauty of a flower, fungus, or algae.

Anonymous said...

This statement made by thoreua is one in which i can agree with. The human body is so complex, and so confusing because everyone's is different. It is completely different from any other natural structures except maybe monkeys, via the theory of evolution.

annaladson said...

I don't think that Thoreau is at any way insecure with his body. I believe he is comparing the human nature of a person that makes them want to change the way their body looks, to the content of other parts of nature with the way they look. He says it is strange the way his human body looks because it has been altered by man’s standards on body image. Nature on the other hand, is free to look exactly the way it was originally intended, no matter how strange.

Zach Singletary said...

I do not think he is saying this to criticize his body but yet that things in nature are much more simple than humans. Nature does have pride or vanity.

andy c-lack said...

This quote makes me think of my own beliefs. The human body is so complex with so many functions and utterly different than any other creature on Earth, which is one reason why i believe there must be a divine spark. How else could we exist in this manner? We are nowhere near the simplicity of nature such as trees and plants.

brad germany said...

This entry makes no sense. Thoreau should know his own body better than anything else in nature. He may be looking too much into the sole beauty of nature because in reality, nature is just as strange and complex as our own bodies.

Akshat said...

Thoreau felt insecure about his body, but he knew that his body was just as much a piece of nature as the wood around him. He did not fully understand his body and therefore did not appreciate it and looked at nature as something that is better than his body.

Rhodes h. said...

I believe what Thoreau is saying that our bodies are so complex, that its hard to understand while nature seems so simple and more easy to appreciate.

Devon Gaydos said...

I don't think Thoreau was particularly insecure or anything. Everyone experiences thoughts like these. It's just natural. Nobody can fully understand themselves. Our thoughts are always changing. Maybe Thoreau wasn't as concerned with the strangeness of his physical body, but with the strangeness of his own thoughts and soul.

Ali Rocco said...

this almost goes back to the grass is always greener on the other side cliche. Everyone wants what they dont have, its human nature to feel that way.

Emily Stubbs said...

Thoreau sounds rather typical in this passage until the end. I feel like he is asking someone to sympathize with him. He wants people to see that he cannot love himself. It is very rare that someone loves themselves unconditionally. And I think with the word "body," Thoreau intended to mean much more than simply the body's physical state. And I wonder if he had been in love by the time he has written this. I wonder what the context of this short little statement is, because the context determines a lot of its mean and his intent.

Sarah Schatz said...

This is completely true, and people who don't think their body is strange or judge themselves are marvels of mankind. It is easier to accept other pieces of nature because we do not have the same traits. The traits we are stuck with are the only ones we can really judge, since they belong to us. I think people get tired of their bodies or other characteristics and turn to examine what is around them. When this happens, people start to criticize themselves for what they don't have, and they turn to others, instead of themselves, to admire.

TigerChung said...

I believe Thoreau feels that he is more in tune with nature than with other people. He could see the beauty in nature, but not in human beings

jakemoore6 said...

Thoraeu relates the workings of nature to the workings of his inner self in order to understand himself better. He sees all the beauties of nature and believes them to be more beautiful and more interesting than the beauties inside himself.

Bianca Burwell said...

Although his body is very interesting and different, he has insecurity issues that hes dealing with. He would rather look at the beauty of nature than look at himself. (which I think most people would rather do anyway...)

Anonymous said...

Thoreau was apperently a very strange bodied man