Through the second third of Walden, Thoreau continues to explain his life among the birds and the bees. He explains how he completes many of the daily processes he goes through on a regular basis.
A chapter that stuck out to me in this section was the fifth, titled: The Bean Field. In this chapter, Thoreau explains how he plots and harvests crops in order to sustain him, and also to barter for more substantial crops such as rice. He also explains some vague contact with the outside “real” world in this chapter.
One way he does this is by discovering that an ancient civilization once dwelt there, and of course he blames their extinction on the white man and society. He discovers this by finding things such as arrowheads in the soil, which he determines was also once the planting ground for said civilization. Another way he faces reality in this chapter is by noting the echo of military shouts from the next town over.
This struggle between surviving the hardships of raw nature, while simultaneously being confronted by American life strongly reminded me of the contemporary television show Lost.
In this show, a group of civilians crash on to a supposedly deserted island and are forced to live like the natives of America, and Thoreau himself, once lived. While living so naturally, some group members discover other humans on the island. They also discover quarantines, which contain full kitchens and bathrooms, however are placed in the middle of a jungle.
Another similarity of this show and Thoreau’s experience is the spirituality of it. Throughout Lost characters deal with their struggles with religion and spirituality. This controversy is echoed in The Bean Field. The way that Thoreau uses imagery from classical mythology in his descriptions shows that belief was also a strong theme in his time becoming “down to earth.” He describes the harvest with the word “moral” instead of something more secular or less eye catching to show that he is not only harvesting this food for its crops, but also as an exercising in morality.