Thoreau's essay begins with a history of the apple tree, and ends with a meditation on parallels between the wild apple and humanity.
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This personal account - nearly an ode to wild apples - at first seemed to be a simple indulgent exchange with nature and history's oldest and most recognizable fruit, later unwrapped almost as many hidden meanings as there varieties of apple. A wonderful and warm and times compelling look at how this fruit embodies the symbols and behaviors and characteristics of man. A short, sweet, and relevant read.
Beautiful but Overzealous
This personal essay is quite polarizing. While there are breathe-taking bouts of imagery and revelations, the majority of what's written is just him immaturely rambling about wild apples for way too long. Despite the internal organization, Thoreau had no concept of brevity or focus--that to me is a shame, because the core message of reimagining how we look at life is unbelievably powerful via the slow pace, and something I wish I could recommend to everyone but can't because of how deeply flawed the actual writing is, and because of how esoteric time has rendered this aging piece.