Document Type

Sophomore Award Winner

Award Date

Fall 2011

Course Name

Literary Explorations 1


Dr. Adam Kotlarczyk


In the complete and utter blackness, I strained my eyes and ears in a constant struggle to remain aware of my surroundings, as it always seems that the inhabitants of the forest are most active when one isn’t paying attention. Still in darkness, I found myself in a perpetual struggle against myself to retain my focus. Just as I began to succumb to the pressures of sleep, the first light appeared over the horizon. Within minutes, I was bathed in the gentle, forgiving sunlight that cleansed me of all desire for rest. I felt alert, connected to my surroundings and the subtle beauty of the rising sun. I could see beautiful rays of orange unparalleled by any synthetic means radiating through the atmosphere. I began to question the motives of all mankind in this earliest of my experiences with hunting; I couldn’t understand the common desire for progress harbored by man, or why not every capable man or woman wasn’t doing the exact same as me, taking in this profound beauty in nature. Similarly, Henry Thoreau’s Walden provides people seeking more natural lives with a guide to simplifying their existences. More importantly, however, Thoreau does so in a fashion of awe-inspiring literary work.