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瓦尔登湖读后感英文

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When Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) set out for the Walden woods in Massachusetts on Independence Day, 1845, the United States was still a young nation. The book that he published in 1854, Walden, is based upon his experiences as a youth.
1845年美国独立日那天,亨利·戴维·梭罗出发前往位于马萨诸塞州的瓦尔登湖畔的树林,那时美国还是一个年轻的国家。1854年出版的《瓦尔登湖》,便是他基于自己年轻时的经历所著。

The young don’t yet know how to live. They must experience the world and reflect upon their experiences in order to gain knowledge. The same is true of a nation. The book’s status as a classic shows that what Thoreau had to say echoed in the souls of other Americans.
年轻人还不懂得如何生活。为了获取知识,他们必须感受这个世界并反思自身经历。一个国家也是如此。这本书的经典之处就在于梭罗书中所言在其他美国人的心中产生了共鸣。


And it’s not just his fellow countrymen who relate to the story – Walden is read all over the world. If it can be enjoyed by non-Americans, this is because Thoreau set out to find what the basic principles of life are, no matter where we’re from. We may not agree with his answers, but we identify with his quest for meaning. This is probably why Walden is still loved by so many people, even 200 years after Thoreau’s birth, the anniversary of which will fall on July 12 this year.
不仅仅是他的同胞和这个故事息息相关 —— 《瓦尔登湖》在世界各地都广泛流传。如果美国之外的读者也喜爱这本书,那是因为梭罗是从寻找人生真谛出发的,不论我们来自于何处。我们或许并不赞同他的答案,但我们和他对于生活意义的追求是一致的。这或许便是《瓦尔登湖》在梭罗诞生200年后依然深受喜爱的原因。今年的7月12日,梭罗将迎来诞辰200周年。

Thoreau looked around him and saw the beginnings of industrialism and found it ugly. He disliked the factories and he disliked what they produced. He objected to consumerism, suspectingthat it took people away from their real concerns. Men and women lived lives of “quiet desperation” because modern life was leading them astray.
梭罗环视周遭,目睹了工业主义的开端并发现了其丑恶之处。他并不喜欢工厂,也不喜欢它们生产的东西。他拒绝消费主义,怀疑它会将人们带离他们真正关心的事情。男男女女都生活在“寂静的绝望”之中,因为现代生活将他们引入歧途。

In Walden, he would find what he hoped was really “essential”. As he writes near the beginning of the book, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” This is the major theme of the book. He hoped nature could be his guide and his teacher.
在《瓦尔登湖》一书中,他发现自己所希望之事的确十分“基本”。正如他在该书开篇所写“我到林中去,因为我希望谨慎地生活,只面对生活的基本事实,看看我是否学得到生活要教育我的东西,免得到了临终之时,才发现我根本就没有生活过。”这是该书的重要主题。他希望自然能够成为他的向导和老师。


We should not think that Thoreau was simply withdrawing from the world. He didn’t go to Walden only to stare into the surface of lakes and observe wildlife. He went there because he was disgusted by modern civilization. Ironically, some of the people that Thoreau met around Walden wanted the opposite to him. If he wanted to escape from civilization, they wanted to get out of nature and leave it for a more exciting existence in the town.
我们不该认为梭罗只是在逃避现实世界。他前往瓦尔登湖,不仅仅是为了凝视湖面,观察野生动物。他去那儿是因为他对现代文明感到厌烦。讽刺的是,梭罗在瓦尔登湖周围遇到的一些人和他的想法恰恰相反。如果说,梭罗想要的是逃离文明社会,那么这些人想要的便是逃离自然,前往城镇过上更刺激的生活。

Thoreau was greatly influenced by ancient Greece and Rome. And in a sense, the philosophy of the book he wrote is very classical. Socrates once said that the “unexamined life is not worth living”, but what was Thoreau doing in his cabin in the woods if not examining life? Not only was he examining his own, but the life of America and its people in general.
梭罗深受古希腊与古罗马的影响。在某种意义上,他书中的哲学十分经典。苏格拉底曾说:“未经审视的人生不值得一过,”而梭罗在林中的小木屋里所做的如果不是审视人生,那又会是什么呢?他不光审视了自己的人生,还审视了美国和美国人民大众的人生。

瓦尔登湖读后感英文

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