Henry David Thoreau – Why I Went to the Woods” Essay

Published: 2020-06-23 23:06:03
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Category: General Studies

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This extract is from his celebrated essay. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience” . First. some background ; in 1842. his brother John died of tetanus. Three old ages subsequently. Henry decided to compose a book marking a canoe trip he had taken with John in 1839. Seeking a quiet topographic point to compose. he followed a friend’s suggestion and built a little cabin on the north shore of Walden Pond on a piece of land owned by his friend and wise man. Ralph Waldo Emerson. He started work on his cabin in March of 1845. On the 4th of July. he moved in. Thus began one of the great and permanent experiments in life and idea of the whole of human experience. I went to the forests because I wished to populate intentionally. to look merely the indispensable facts of life. and see if I could non larn what it had to learn. and non. when I came to decease. detect that I had non lived. ” Thoreau otherwise filled his clip by working in his garden. speaking with visitants. reading. and composing in his diary. But most of all. he walked and thought. and it’s hard to state now which was the more of import activity.
It seems that. in his two old ages populating in his small cabin in the forests he brought himself to a province of witting life. where idea and action were harmoniously combined. This narrative is about his rejection of the world’s definition of ‘success’ and so he demanded a life of personal freedom. He went to the forests. construct a low cabin on the border of Walden Pond. Concord. Massachusetts…and learned about nature and life. He rejected the Establishment and all its furnishings. He saw such ownerships as fancy apparels and luxuriant furniture as so much excess luggage. He demanded a fresh. unlittered being with clip for self-exploration. He would. he told the universe. breathe after his ain manner. ” All facets of life for Thoreau focused on simpleness. When Thoreau’s two old ages at Walden had ended. he left with no declinations: I left the forests for every bit good a ground as why I went at that place. Possibly it seemed to me that I had several more lives to populate. and could non save any more clip for that one. . .
His experiment had been a success. Thoreau had learned many lessons. had taken clip to analyze his inner ego and his universe. and proved he could populate under the simplest conditions and still be fulfilled: I learned this. at least. by my experiment ; that as one advances confidently in the way of his dreams. and enterprises to populate the life which he has imagined. he will run into with a success unexpected in common hours. ” To him. most work forces live lives of quiet despair. ” and have needed to simplify. to project off stuff burdens and achieve true freedom. The phases of religious development that a adult male passes through all prepare him for the more hard interior development ; and every adult male. he believed. possesses an interior religious inherent aptitude which. if nurtured and cared for. will unwrap his godly nature.

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