Henry David Thoreau's "Walden"

Essay by toocutexxxxCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2004

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Downloaded 109 times

Henry David Thoreau starts "Walden" by explaining where he lived while he wrote most of the book. He lived in a house he built himself by Walden Pond pretty far from society. He then speaks about his belief that people are enslaved. They are too focused on material things, instead of living a simpler life with "spiritual values". "Thoreau then adjures his readers to give up their prejudices, refuse to be lectured by their elders, and dare instead to live more simply and with more self-reliance" (Gale, 15). He tried to show his reader that we do not have follow what is expected by society, put aside the typical way of thinking and living and we should depend on ourselves for shelter and food.

Thoreau did not stay in the woods, it was just an experiment of how "easy it was to live simply, to front only the essentials, and to reduce his denominator, in order to return to society armed with suggestions."

People may say he is primitive, but he did make trips to the library, he wrote a premeditated description of his experiment and he spent a night in jail. "If he sometimes seems like a primitive, perhaps it is because we cannot understand his unique form of striking at the root of evil." (Gale, 100-101) He wanted to go spend time in solitude surrounded by nature, but he planned on coming back to society. It was just an experience he felt he should go through so he can appreciate life and report back to other people. "Therefore, he used his solitary time in nature to find beauty, truth, and a way of life which he could then discuss with mankind." (Gale, 107)

Thoreau was never lonely at Walden. The nearest house was a mile away. Trees, animals,