Though he occasionally had visitors and often visited Concord, he basically lived alone for two years and two months, beginning on Independence Day, While there, he kept a journal as he had begun doing years beforerecording his observations of the natural world, his criticisms of the society he had abandoned, and his speculations about the meaning of life. Upon returning to the regular company of mankind, he developed this material into a book.
Plot[ edit ] 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.
I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.
Readers are reminded that at the time of publication, Thoreau is back to living among the civilized again. The book is separated into specific chapters, each of which focuses on specific themes: In this first and longest chapter, Thoreau outlines his project: He easily supplies the four necessities of life food, shelter, clothing, and fuel with the help of family and friends, particularly his mother, his best friend, and Mr.
The latter provided Thoreau with a work exchange -— he could build a small house and plant a garden if he cleared some land on the woodlot and did other chores while there.
The poem criticizes those who think that their poverty gives them unearned moral and intellectual superiority. Much attention is devoted to the skepticism and wonderment with which townspeople greeted both him and his project as he tries to protect his views from those of the townspeople who seem to view society as the only place to live.
He recounts the reasons for his move to Walden Pond along with detailed steps back to the construction of his new home methods, support, etc. Thoreau takes to the woods dreaming of an existence free of obligations and full of leisure.
He announces that he resides far from social relationships that mail represents post office and the majority of the chapter focuses on his thoughts while constructing and living in his new home at Walden.
Thoreau discusses the benefits of classical literaturepreferably in the original Greek or Latinand bemoans the lack of sophistication in Concord evident in the popularity of unsophisticated literature.
He also loved to read books by world travelers. Thoreau encourages the reader to be "forever on the alert" and "looking always at what is to be seen. Thoreau reflects on the feeling of solitude.
Thoreau meditates on the pleasures of escaping society and the petty things that society entails gossip, fights, etc. He also reflects on his new companion, an old settler who arrives nearby and an old woman with great memory "memory runs back farther than mythology".
Thoreau talks about how he enjoys companionship despite his love for solitude and always leaves three chairs ready for visitors. The entire chapter focuses on the coming and going of visitors, and how he has more comers in Walden than he did in the city.
Thoreau then reflects on the women and children who seem to enjoy the pond more than men, and how men are limited because their lives are taken up.
He touches upon the joys of his environment, the sights and sounds of nature, but also on the military sounds nearby. The rest of the chapter focuses on his earnings and his cultivation of crops including how he spends just under fifteen dollars on this.
On one of his journeys into Concord, Thoreau is detained and jailed for his refusal to pay a poll tax to the "state that buys and sells men, women, and children, like cattle at the door of its senate-house". In autumn, Thoreau discusses the countryside and writes down his observations about the geography of Walden Pond and its neighbors: While on an afternoon ramble in the woods, Thoreau gets caught in a rainstorm and takes shelter in the dirty, dismal hut of John Field, a penniless but hard-working Irish farmhand, and his wife and children.
Thoreau urges Field to live a simple but independent and fulfilling life in the woods, thereby freeing himself of employers and creditors. Thoreau discusses whether hunting wild animals and eating meat is necessary.
He concludes that the primitive, carnal sensuality of humans drives them to kill and eat animals, and that a person who transcends this propensity is superior to those who cannot.
Thoreau eats fish and occasionally salt pork and woodchuck. He also recognizes that Native Americans need to hunt and kill moose for survival in "The Maine Woods", and eats moose on a trip to Maine while he was living at Walden.
One must love that of the wild just as much as one loves that of the good. What men already know instinctively is true humanity. The hunter is the greatest friend of the animal which is hunted. No human older than an adolescent would wantonly murder any creature which reveres its own life as much as the killer.
If the day and the night make one joyful, one is successful. The highest form of self-restraint is when one can subsist not on other animals, but of plants and crops cultivated from the earth. The conversation is about a hermit himself and a poet Channing and how the poet is absorbed in the clouds while the hermit is occupied with the more practical task of getting fish for dinner and how in the end, the poet regrets his failure to catch fish.
After picking November berries in the woods, Thoreau adds a chimney, and finally plasters the walls of his sturdy house to stave off the cold of the oncoming winter. He also lays in a good supply of firewood, and expresses affection for wood and fire.
Former Inhabitants; and Winter Visitors: Thoreau relates the stories of people who formerly lived in the vicinity of Walden Pond. Then he talks about a few of the visitors he receives during the winter:Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts in He graduated from Harvard in , the same year he began his lifelong Journal.
Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau became a key member of the Transcendentalist movement that included Margaret Fuller and Bronson Alcott. Immediately download the Walden summary, chapter-by-chapter analysis, book notes, essays, quotes, character descriptions, lesson plans, and more - everything you need for studying or teaching Walden.
EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY INTERACTIVE Readings in Educational Psychology.
Developed by: W. Huitt Last updated: November Three good recent collections of critical essays are Joel Myerson's Crit ical Essays on Henry David Thoreau's Walden, Robert Sayre's New Essays on Walden, and William Rossi's gathering in the Norton Critical Edition of Walden.
The spectacle is a central notion in the Situationist theory, developed by Guy Debord in his book, The Society of the metin2sell.com its limited sense, spectacle means the mass media, which are "its most glaring superficial manifestation." Debord said that the society of the spectacle came to existence in the late s.
The critique of the spectacle is a development and application of Karl. FAVORITE BOOKS & STAFF PICKS BOOKS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT: Here's a list of some outstanding current and forthcoming titles on our shelves.
These are books that offer something special — superb writing by talented authors, a riveting reading experience, unforgettable characters, intriguing concepts, fascinating subject matter, impeccable scholarship, or just sheer literary entertainment.