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Write a 3-5 page essay based upon your analytical reading of one essay by naturalist Loren Eiseley (actually the second chapter from his book on evolution, The Immense Journey) and one chapter from Thoreau’s ninth chapter of Walden, “The Ponds.”

Write a 3-5 page essay based upon your analytical reading of one essay by naturalist Loren Eiseley (actually the second chapter from his book on evolution, The Immense Journey) and one chapter from Thoreau’s ninth chapter of Walden, “The Ponds.”
Each student will carefully read over each word and each paragraph of these two great pieces of writing on the magic of the liquid element bathing our world. Earth is primarily a water planet, yet how seldom most individuals in our Twenty-First Century show what might be considered respect or awe or wonder for water. This essay will give each of you an opportunity to grow in your understanding of and feeling for water in its many forms. As Thoreau writes in “The Ponds,” “A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature” (176), and Eiseley writes, “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water”(136), or again “…it is the magic of water that leaves me a final sign” (142). Both these writers also feel that it is your experience with water that is truly important. Their writings aim to enhance your own experience of water in whatever form you have found most magical.
Your essay in response to your reading of Eiseley and Thoreau, and to the class discussions of their work, should accomplish two things. It should first show that you adequately understand what these writers say about water’s “magic” (Eiseley) or water’s “expressiveness” (Thoreau). This will take study, as their sentence structures and level of thought require careful study and analysis, which we will go over in Zoom class. For this part of your paper, the procedure will be just like the preparatory procedure for the midterm exam: we will read over significant parts, or perhaps the whole, of these writings together. Your ability to quote the apt and significant selections of what you read in support of your thesis is an important skill, for which this essay will be practice.
The second necessary aspect of this essay is that you select and focus on a magical or expressive experience with a particular body of water, something that for you might be your own Walden or little jewel of water. This could be as small as one sparkling raindrop weighing down a leaf of grass, as exciting as snorkeling on a Hawaiian tropical reef, as awe-inspiring as a Sonoma County beach with its thundering surf. Whatever–as long as it is your own experience. It will even help if you attach a photo of the water you experience to your essay.
The objective of this assignment is to demonstrate the degree to which reading these texts can inspire you to see the world of water somewhat as Eiseley and Thoreau see it. Can you let them teach you how to find or discover the magic in what you yourself have experienced? After all, your education should open you up and enhance your own capabilities and resourcefulness.
As with all essays to be submitted in this or any English course, include a Works Cited at the end of your essay, and use parenthetical citation for every quotation you select for use in your own writing.