Thoreau uses the example of being lost in the woods and then learning to find his way as a metaphor for being lost in life. He describes the thickness of the darkness of his surroundings and uses this point to demonstrate that although circumstances may seem impossible to endure, it is possible to find a way through, and, by association, to find enlightenment. He also argues through this metaphor that one should not resign from difficulties, but instead be patient and look for solutions.
The body is used as a symbol and means for explaining aspects of nature that he observes around him and in so doing he reminds the readers that humans are allied to the world around them.
The Resurrection of the Bug
In the final chapter, Thoreau relates the story of a ‘strong and beautiful bug’ that appeared from an old table and claims this as a metaphor for explaining resurrection. It is supposed to have emerged from an old table that was over 60 years old and the egg had been deposited in a tree prior to this.
The term ‘resurrection’ echoes the tenets of Christianity and also signals an optimistic faith in re-birth and renewal, which has colored this work throughout. In his examination of the natural world during his time at Walden, he infects the reader with the optimistic aspects of nature that signal re-birth every Spring.