Essay about Henry David Thoreau 's Walden

1876 Words Nov 16th, 2015 null Page
Henry David Thoreau’s Walden consists of eighteen chapters in which he describes his two-year stay in Walden Pond. His purpose is clearly stated in chapter two titled “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”, where he states,
“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.”

Thoreau’s Walden is to be read with the knowledge that it is a unified work rather than a collection of various essays because it is a rich autobiography in which he describes his time at Walden Pond in such a poetic fashion that will be missed by the reader if they view it as separate works. One of the recurring themes in Walden is the idea of simplicity in life. In his first chapter titled “Economy”, Thoreau discusses the benefits of a simplified lifestyle. One of the quotes that stood out to me in this specific chapter was, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Thoreau is talking about how we try to live in the lifestyle that society makes us believe is the best one. He also believes that these standards set by society have in a way devalued the lives of those that pursue luxurious or materialistic goals because it makes them unable to enjoy the simple things in life. In chapter two titled, “Where I Lived and What I Lived For”, Thoreau says, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the…

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