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Saturday, 8 October 2011

"Welcome to Anathoth" and Thoreau's vision into contemporary times

Thoreau opined that all these developments in Science and Technology are due to the desires of man for luxuries of life. If man opts for simple living and gets rid of his desire for luxurious life, there won’t be any need for these factories, industries, science and technological developments and the so called progress. Such a situation could also enable man to protect the environment in its original stage. Man with such simple outlook will not easily opt for wars as a result of which Governments can reduce their heavy expenditures on wars and divert the monies for the welfare of the people. If the World can thus be devoid of wars, the simplicity of life can further be enhanced (Thoreau 1985).

The practicability of living a simple life as preached by Thoreau in the modern times is almost impossible. However simple one wants to be, he cannot live without the help of minimum requirements like water, electricity and fuel. Moreover to opt for such a life is a question of attitude also. Even eminent scholars like Thoreau cannot persuade people to opt for such simple lives in the interest of grand ideals like protection of environment (Thoreau 1985).

Anathoth’ may be an example of a village incorporating the ideals of simple living preached by Thoreau for a very limited population but it cannot be a practical idea to build such village all over the country throwing into corner all these scientific and technological developments and the comforts they have brought to mankind with them. It may also be note that man always tries to live in the comforts of the contemporary atmosphere. Science and technology and its benefits are the norm of the present day society. Just because Thoreau was able to live a very simple life in his days it is not proper to ask the people of the present day to live such simple life as Thoreau in the middle of the alluring comforts of Science and Technology. Thoreau and other transcendentalists themselves were the proponents of the importance of the original and creative ideas. They preached that man should not be bogged down by the happenings and philosophies of the past and should formulate ideas and systems for their own times. Keeping this in mind they even said that such tings as literature should not be imitated or mimicked by people and people should have their own creative ideas. They also wanted education to tone up the intuition of man rather than make him a slave of his past. In the background of this it will be antithetical to the views of Thoreau himself if we ask people to live the life of Thoreau in the present day times. It is not only not proper to do so, but also impossible. So the people should be allowed to lead their own lives in tune with their times.

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