See Important Quotations Explained Summary Thoreau begins by matter-of-factly outlining his two-year project at Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts on land owned by his spiritual mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson, although Thoreau does not mention this detail. He describes the reactions of people to news of his project, noting their concern for his well-being out in the wilderness, their worry about his health in the winter, their shock that anyone would willingly forsake human companionship, and occasionally their envy. Thoreau moves quickly to the moral of his experiment:
Plot[ edit ] I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved economy essay by thoreau be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.
Readers are reminded that at the time of publication, Thoreau is back to living among the civilized again. The book is separated into specific chapters, each of which focuses on specific themes: In this first and longest chapter, Thoreau outlines his project: He easily supplies the four necessities of life food, shelter, clothing, and fuel with the help of family and friends, particularly his mother, his best friend, and Mr.
The latter provided Thoreau with a work exchange -— he could build a small house and plant a garden if he cleared some land on the woodlot and did other chores while there.
The poem criticizes those who think that their poverty gives them unearned moral and intellectual superiority. Much attention is devoted to the skepticism and wonderment with which townspeople greeted both him and his project as he tries to protect his views from those of the townspeople who seem to view society as the only place to live.
He recounts the reasons for his move to Walden Pond along with detailed steps back to the construction of his new home methods, support, etc.
Thoreau recollects thoughts of places he stayed at before selecting Walden Pond, and quotes Roman Philosopher Cato 's advice "consider buying a farm very carefully before signing the papers.
Thoreau takes to the woods dreaming of an existence free of obligations and full of leisure. He announces that he resides far from social relationships that mail represents post office and the majority of the chapter focuses on his thoughts while constructing and living in his new home at Walden.
Thoreau discusses the benefits of classical literaturepreferably in the original Greek or Latinand bemoans the lack of sophistication in Concord evident in the popularity of unsophisticated literature.
He also loved to read books by world travelers. Thoreau encourages the reader to be "forever on the alert" and "looking always at what is to be seen. In addition to self-development, an advantage of developing one's perceptiveness is its tendency to alleviate boredom.
Rather than "look abroad for amusement, to society and the theatre", Thoreau's own life, including supposedly dull pastimes like housework, becomes a source of amusement that "never ceases to be novel.
Thoreau reflects on the feeling of solitude. He explains how loneliness can occur even amid companions if one's heart is not open to them. Thoreau meditates on the pleasures of escaping society and the petty things that society entails gossip, fights, etc. He also reflects on his new companion, an old settler who arrives nearby and an old woman with great memory "memory runs back farther than mythology".
Thoreau talks about how he enjoys companionship despite his love for solitude and always leaves three chairs ready for visitors.
The entire chapter focuses on the coming and going of visitors, and how he has more comers in Walden than he did in the city. Thoreau then reflects on the women and children who seem to enjoy the pond more than men, and how men are limited because their lives are taken up.
He touches upon the joys of his environment, the sights and sounds of nature, but also on the military sounds nearby.
The rest of the chapter focuses on his earnings and his cultivation of crops including how he spends just under fifteen dollars on this.
The chapter focuses on Thoreau's reflections on the journeys he takes several times a week to Concord, where he gathers the latest gossip and meets with townsmen. On one of his journeys into Concord, Thoreau is detained and jailed for his refusal to pay a poll tax to the "state that buys and sells men, women, and children, like cattle at the door of its senate-house".
In autumn, Thoreau discusses the countryside and writes down his observations about the geography of Walden Pond and its neighbors: Although Flint's is the largest, Thoreau's favorites are Walden and White ponds, which he describes as lovelier than diamonds. While on an afternoon ramble in the woods, Thoreau gets caught in a rainstorm and takes shelter in the dirty, dismal hut of John Field, a penniless but hard-working Irish farmhand, and his wife and children.
Thoreau urges Field to live a simple but independent and fulfilling life in the woods, thereby freeing himself of employers and creditors. But the Irishman won't give up his aspirations of luxury and the quest for the American dream.
Thoreau discusses whether hunting wild animals and eating meat is necessary. He concludes that the primitive, carnal sensuality of humans drives them to kill and eat animals, and that a person who transcends this propensity is superior to those who cannot.
Thoreau eats fish and occasionally salt pork and woodchuck. He also recognizes that Native Americans need to hunt and kill moose for survival in "The Maine Woods", and eats moose on a trip to Maine while he was living at Walden.Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts in He graduated from Harvard in , the same year he began his lifelong Journal.
Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau became a key member of the Transcendentalist movement that included Margaret Fuller and Bronson Alcott. Walden (/ ˈ w ɔː l d ən /; first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods) is a book by transcendentalist Henry David ashio-midori.com text is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings.
The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and—to some degree—a manual for self-reliance. Democracy is a tender topic for a writer: like motherhood and apple pie it is not to be criticized.
One will risk being roundly condemned if he, or she, points out the serious bottleneck that is presented when a community attempts, through the democratic process, to set plans for positive social action. Thoreau describes his life before Walden Pond as a useless search for a "hound, a bay horse, and a turtle-dove" (Economy), that is, a search for the impossible.
Renaissance man that he is, Thoreau has been a journalist, a kind of storm inspector, a surveyor, and a herdsman.
Economy Thoreau was a writer like no other. In March he decided to build a log cabbing by walden pond. He built this cabin in Massachusetts in a town called Concord. ECONOMY. WHEN I WROTE the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and .