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Henry David Thoreau on the Felling of a Pine
These questions refer to statements in Henry David Thoreau's journal of December 30  accessed in Bill McKibben's American Earth.
Terms in this set (4)
Thoreau writes: I "saw two men sawing down a __________ pine." Fill in the blank.
Describing the tree, almost sawed through, Thoreau writes: "Still its branches wave in the wind as if it were destined to stand for a century, and the wind soughs through its needles as of yore; it is still a forest tree—the most majestic tree that waves over Musketaquid." What is Thoreau's tone here; what feeling is he trying to convey?
Thoreau is creating sympathy for the tree and a sense of sorrow, tragedy even, in the fact that it is about to die.
Describing the imminent fall of the pine tree, Thoreau writes: "Now's the moment—the mannikins at its base are fleeing from their ___________ —they have dropped the ___________ saw and ax." Fill in the blanks.
Describing the tree lying on the ground, Thoreau writes: "The tender cones of one year's growth upon its summit appealed in vain and too late to the mercy of the chopper.... And the space it occupied in upper air is vacant for the next two centuries.... A plant which it has taken two centuries to perfect rising by slow stages into the heavens—has this afternoon ceased to exist." What idea is Thoreau trying to convey here?
Thoreau is saying that we (and nature) lose something precious in the felling of a tree. As he writes a moment later: "Why does not the village bell sound a knell?" (Village bells often rang out to mark the passing of a human life, and so why not ring also for the passing of a "noble" tree?)
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OTHER SETS BY THIS CREATOR
Anne Bradstreet on the "Delectable View"
Olmsted Report (1865)