In Walden, certain facets of the physical world become symbolic because of the meaning that Thoreau attaches to them. Walden Pond, at the edge of which he lives, symbolizes the spiritual significance of nature. Every morning, Thoreau takes a bath in the pond and calls it a religious experience, reminding him of nature's endless capacity to renew life and stirring him to higher aspirations. He laments that the townspeople pump the pond's water into their houses to do their dishes, calling the water "as sacred as the Ganges," referencing the River Ganges in Indian which was believed to be holy.
Walden Pond Symbol Timeline in Walden
The timeline below shows where the symbol Walden Pond appears in Walden. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Where I Lived, and What I Lived For
...to make his life simple and commune with nature. Every morning he bathes in the pond, calling it a "religious exercise." He calls morning the time that all important events, including... (full context)
...is much larger and more shallow, less pure, and has more fish. Thoreau laments that pond's boring name and wishes that natural features were named not after the farmers who happened... (full context)
The Pond in Winter