The Art of Living: Vital Modes of Being and Their Religious Significance in Thoreau (thesis)
The following paper is interested in the predisposition to profound boredom and its potential to arouse despair. In light of such, it explores three modes of being – perceiving, walking, and writing – to illustrate a potential for living in a way that recovers vitality from the two. It pursues these matters through the life and literature of Henry David Thoreau, nineteenth-century author and philosopher who spent two years of his life at Walden Pond. The paper analyzes a broad scope of Thoreauvian literature to clarify just how certain modes of being, at their best, are vital. It ultimately situates readers in a place to consider their response to living in the world and the possibility that religious life might include a function similar to Thoreau’s three vital modes of being.
Thesis; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]Rebecca B. Morris is a member of the Class of 2018 of Washington and Lee University.