Walden Essay

Essay by acollegeguyHigh School, 12th gradeA-, November 2014

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Walden Essay

According to David Henry Thoreau, "A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone." I find this statement highly accurate considering that the richness of a man can be defined in two ways, both of which make Thoreau's assertion valid. By refraining from living a life revolved around luxurious possessions, a man is able to be rich in the sense that he will satisfy his physical needs of shelter, food, clothing, and fuel; more importantly, he will also have a clearer view of the world around him and possess a connection to the natural world that material wealth obstructs.

Indulgence in unnecessary luxuries can make even the rich man poor. Thoreau once said, "All good things are wild and free." Everything else is just gravy. In Walden, Thoreau describes how he lived off the land with hardly anything other than the clothing on his back.

Yet for a lengthy two years, he was able to get by just fine, proving that mankind works far too hard laboring each day to earn what they considers to be the means of survival. Their hours spent doing backbreaking labor for an unbending employer hardly justifies purchases such as a slightly bigger house or perhaps feasts for every meal of the day. "The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it," said Thoreau, meaning that excess belongings are only as good as the work that was put in to acquire them. Thoreau practiced subsistence farming, a technique that allowed him to produce and receive only what was necessary. In our modern world, celebrities, specifically athletes, illustrate Thoreau's point perfectly. Take Allen Iverson for example. Throughout his career, the ex-NBA has collected...