Analysis Of Walden By Henry David Thoreau

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Walden, a series of 18 essays by Henry David Thoreau published in 1854, is a record of Thoreau’s experiment in simple living on the northern shore of Walden Pond, Massachusetts. Industrial progress is a theme that Thoreau experiences while at Walden Pond. Even though Thoreau makes some elaborate claims as to why industrial progress is destructive, the exact opposite is true; as such advancement does much to benefit the relationships, economy and safety of any society. Thoreau’s overall philosophy condemns industrial progress. Thoreau believed that simplicity is good for the soul and material possessions and money can become one’s god. ( Henry D. Thoreau was born to John and Cynthia Thoreau in Concord, Massachusetts, on…show more content…
Thoreau is buried near the graves of his friends Hawthorne, Alcott, Emerson and Channing. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his eulogy; “The country knows not yet, or in the least part, how great a son it has lost…His soul was made for the noblest society; he had in a short life exhausted the capabilities of this world; wherever there is knowledge, wherever there is virtue, wherever there is beauty, he will find a home.” (Library of Harvard University) Thoreau, fascinated by technology, saw a series of inventions that would radically change the world. In the mid-nineteenth century he saw the invention of the power loom, railroad and the telegraph, the industrial revolution. In Thoreau’s view, technology provoked an excitement that was counterproductive because it served as a distraction from the important questions of life. “Perhaps we are led oftener by the love of novelty, and a regard for the opinions of men, in procuring it, than by a true utility.” (Walden, 21). “Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distracted our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end, an end which it was already but too easy to arrive at; as railroads lead to Boston or New York. We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas; but Maine and Texas; it may be, have nothing important to communicate.” (Thoreau Walden, 52) The
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