Walden research papers show that Walden is a document in which Thoreau converses freely with nature through Walden Pond. With a reputation of bottomlessness, the pond speaks most distinctively and profoundly to Thoreau of the unmeasurableness of life with materialistic means. His two-year sojourn in the woods represented a withdrawal from the luxuries of the "civilized life" and a deliberate return to simplicity. Rejecting materialism, Thoreau embraces spiritual regeneration, which is dramatized in Walden through the cycle of the year beginning with summer and ending in the rebirth of nature in spring. Walden is a plea for higher life —a life of individual freedom for reading, writing, and observing nature.
Thoreau makes his point about a simple diet without animal food, which he feels encourages the brute in man. He eschews tea and coffee, considers wine not "noble," and would keep sober on water always. A life of purity, which includes a simple diet, eliminates the animal in people. As the animal dies, the divine approximation to God is established. All of these precepts and more are Thoreau's exclusive means of sanctification. Nature is his religion and universal medicine; Walden pond is his heaven, the shrine at which he worships.