Why Thoreau's ideas in Walden are useless in the twenty-first century

Essay by lordballsx13xHigh School, 10th gradeA+, February 2004

download word file, 4 pages 3.0

People at one time or another have most likely wondered how life would be if they had to live without such things as a computer or a cell phone. They probably would think that it would be impossible to continue living, which is absolutely correct. Although Henry David Thoreau would explain that life is better without such things, people have grown too close too them and rely on them for so many services, and that is why it is impossible for his transcendentalist philosophies to get through to people living in the twenty-first century. Life depends too much on such important things that did not exist during Thoreau's time period, and that is why his ideas are useless to individuals living in the present. Although Thoreau's philosophy of simplicity, self-reliance, and the study of nature may have been able to have been explored during his time period, his philosophy is totally and completely out-of-date in the twenty-first century.

A simple life is impossible to obtain in the twenty-first century. One reason why a simple life is impossible is because wealth is measured in materials. As Thoreau stated in Walden, "[my house] was merely a defense against the rain, without plastering or chimney," which means that he preferred the simple house because it performed everything that he needed to be performed in order for him to survive (p. 203). Nowadays, people would think Thoreau is a moron because of the fact that he values the house for what it does instead of what it looks like or how big it is. Most people in the twenty-first century prefer the larger, more beautiful house because of its looks, not what it does to protect the family that will live in it. Another reason why a simple life is unheard of in the...