Walden- how we spend our lives

Essay by Saint2k3High School, 12th gradeA+, March 2003

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Living Life

"Let us consider the way in which we spend our lives." Thoreau writes in Walden. He spent his creative life challenging the ordinary thinking of his day, and of ours. He urged his readers live life full, with less concern for spending money than concern for spending life. Thoreau also notes that is "not worth the while to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar," rather having a change in mind and life style could suit you a respectable change. He sends many strong and though-provoking messages in which we should change our lifestyle including, "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth," which echoes the American Revolutionary slogan, "Give me liberty or give me death." In these intense and intimate addresses to us that emerge in his conclusion, replacing the circuitous thoughts of his first chapter, we sense the urgency of Thoreau's final message.

This work is meant to mobilize us to start working us to live our lives differently.

Thoreau starts off by explaining how "to the sick the doctors wisely recommend a change of air and scenery." He then mocks this view saying that the "universe is wider then our views of it." He however argues that a change in soul rather than a change in landscape is needed. He says that we are too confined to our "stone walls piled on our farms" and that we need to explore the world with our mind and live life differently. "Direct your eye sight inward, and you'll find a thousand regions in your mind yet undiscovered. Travel them, and be expert in home-cosmography." He wants us to start living life rather then trying to impress our neighbors or friends. Thoreau remarks that his reasons for leaving Walden Pond were...