Where I Lived And What I Lived For By Henry David Thoreau

1274 Words 6 Pages
Living Without Superficial Needs and Fear Reading Where I Lived and What I Lived For, there are multiple noticeable themes throughout the story. The first theme found was, “to live deliberately, man must live without superficial needs.” (Thoreau 1) Another theme found in the story was, to live sturdily, man must take his time and think, to live without fear. This report will cover the changes throughout the story between the two themes. The first paragraph of Where I Lived and What I Lived For starts off with a broad explanation of the story plot line and a well worded theme idea. The major theme that I got from the story was, “to live deliberately, man must live without superficial needs.” (Thoreau 1) This theme was first really shown in …show more content…
News is ‘gossip’ as he refers to it. Having news of a burned building, a car crash, a mad dog killed, a shooting, or anything that might instill someone to think of the worst is put into the news. This is put there to make people fear the world, the people, the items, and everything else around them. Gossip is a good word for news when half of what is written in a news paper is meant to amuse people and the other half is there to inform the people of what is happening outside their doors. It is meant to scare every day people into worrying about every little thing. Thoreau understood that news is just gossip. As such, he did not have any use for a post office and writes about how he only received two letters in his whole life. He writes how “I could easily go without the post-office. I think that there are very few important communications made through it.” (Thoreau 2) He didn't see any use in being afraid of everything around him through nothing more than the gossip sent between people and in the news paper. News papers are not a necessity of life. They do not make the world go round, and they do not cause people to die. News papers are material items. These material items covered in words made by ink absorbed into paper, cause people to think differently about the world depending on how they look at and how they process what it is they are …show more content…
“If men would steadily observe realities only, and not allow themselves to be deluded, life, to compare it with such things as we know, would be like a fairy tale and the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments.” (Thoreau 2) Throughout history people have used the knowledge they have gained in order to gain more knowledge. As men, we live in a shadow of what is real and what is not. Humans, have a natural instinct known as the fight or flight response. This response has to do with fear. If we take away that response to fear. People might have heart attacks or no fear at all. Fear is what drives people. It also causes people to back down from bad situations and know when they should or shouldn't do something. Men do not take a lot of time to contemplate what they are getting themselves into until they are already scared and ready to leave the situation. Men and women alike no longer observe the reality of living and why they make the choices that they do. “When we are unhurried and wise, we perceive that only great and worthy things have any permanent and absolute existence, that petty fears and petty pleasures are but the shadow of the reality.” (Thoreau 3) As this quote from Where I Lived And What I Lived For states that as humans we need to focus on slowing down and thinking before we make a decision. In doing so, we will become wiser

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