Henry David Thoreau was a great American writer, philosopher, and naturalist of the 1800’s who’s writings have influenced many famous leaders in the 20th century, as well as in his own lifetime. Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1817, where he was later educated at Harvard University. Thoreau was a transcendentalist writer, which means that he believed that intuition and the individual conscience “transcend” experience and are better guides to truth than are the senses and logical reason (Prentice Hall 1174). Thoreau is well known for writing Walden Pond, Excursions, The Maine Woods, Cape Cod, and A Yankee in Canada. In 1849 Henry David Thoreau wrote an essay
‘Walden’ is written by Henry David Thoreau and published in 1854. This art of work is a product of a real experience and inspired by the transcendentalism movement. Not only his writing style is inspired by transcendentalism but also Thoreau applied this movement, idea in his life style and wanted to experience this idea. It can be said that transcendentalism is not only an idea for Thoreau, but it is also must be put into practice in real life and this shows his pragmatic approach.
In Henry Thoreau 's Walden Thoreau spent two years away from society living in a cabin in the woods with only the necessities. He was surrounded by farmers and would occasionally go into town. Thoreau was a transcendentalist that tried to find answers to life’s questions through nature. He challenged the regular way society would live and found that his way was a rewarding way of living.He compared the way that the farmers around him to how he was able to live and compared the difference of the two ways to live. Thoreau valued freethought, importance of nature, and self-reliance, Henry David Thoreau lived as an individual who did not need materialism.
Their passion for their love of nature was also influenced by numerous authors read by each man that depicted an ideology of naturalistic prose characterizing the transcendental experience. Authors stated as favorites by both men include Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Jack London. While these writers provided an appealing view of a carefree life, not one of them truly experienced the hardships of their stories. Thoreau’s depiction of his experiment of transcendentalism in his book, Walden, romanticizes the natural world even though his excursion was just a few miles from his family and the local community. One aspect of Thoreau’s definition of this solitary life was to embrace nature and live off the land, using wit and resourcefulness (Thoreau). “Thoreau As An Oblique Mirror” by Jose Sanchez Vera, provides a perspective that suggests Krakauer uses pieces of Thoreau’s ideals in order to embellish Chris’s endeavor (49). The promise of a simpler life has a tendency to make anyone long for tranquility. But, McCandless and Krakauer appeared to take their personal introspection to extremes, without regard of the hazards and possible doom that lay before them (Krakauer
As America continued to grow and developed so did its writers. A major changed came with writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. Emerson was an American philosopher, poet and the leader of the Transcendentalist movement. This movement started as a protest against the current state of the society and culture; and was based on a fundamental belief in the unity of the world and God. "Emerson declared literary independence in the United States and urged Americans to create a writing style all their own and free from Europe" (Ralph). This type of methodology is easily portrayed in his two stories, The American Scholar, and Self Reliance. Thoreau was a nonconformist and attempted to live his life at all times according to his rigorous principles, which became the subject of many of his writings. In "Walden", Thoreau not only tests the theories of Transcendentalism, he re-enacts the collective American experience of the 19th century, living on the frontier. The overall story of "Walden" is in fact a view on Thoreau's radical and controversial perspective of society. Many of Thoreau's repeated, irrelevant details can be traced to his description of what is wrong with the American society. He believed that the society is extremely overwhelmed with material things and they often seem to think that is what matters
In the end, much of Henry David Thoreau’s motivation for coming to Walden Pond was for the betterment of the self. Indeed, this desire for personal betterment could be boiled down to what I’ve surmised to be the three things Thoreau valued more than anything else. Of course, these three values, self-discipline, self-reliance, and self-reflection are themselves a part of the man’s own view that everyone should try their hardest to live deliberately. Though his value system seems constrained and stiff, Thoreau spends almost the entirety of the book living out these values, and finding purpose and fulfillment in doing so.
"Things do not change, we change", wrote Thoreau, in perhaps his most well known book, Walden. He was a most interesting man and lived a life full of changes and his works are still relevant today. Thoreau did not follow the traditional paths that most did during his time. The results of a life lived on its on merits and free to explore and adapt has provided us with invaluable writings that are relevant today. To understand his life is to explore and change our own views.
It was my high school teacher, Anna Shaughnessy, who introduced me to Henry David Thoreau. His Walden was not part of the course of study. She asked whether I knew of this Massachusetts writer. I didn't. Without scaring me off by proclaiming how great he was, she said he had lived and died in obscurity. But not like some romantic poet in a dusty garret. He had done all kinds of work for a living-been a schoolteacher, surveyor, pencil-maker, gardener, carpenter, mason, lecturer, naturalist, as well as keeper of a personal journal into which he wrote two million words.
Thoreau proposed to live as simply as possible and determine what he needed for basic human survival. "My greatest skill is to want but little." He grew his own food, cleaned his own cabin, and often arranged his affairs so he had to work as little as possible. Published on August 9, 1854, Walden sold two thousand copies. For one dollar, people read into the depths of Thoreau’s life at Walden Pond and all his views on everything from the anti-slavery movement to his environmental ideas. Walden sold moderately well during Thoreau’s lifetime, but his greatest respects came posthumously.Through the reading of Walden, many people have discovered the magic of Henry David Thoreau’s pen. Just a man from Concord, Massachusetts, he lived an extraordinary life as a simple man. That, however, was all
Henry David Thoreau was a “strange, gentle, fanatic, selfish, [dreaming], [stubborn individualist],” as well as a Harvard graduate at the top of his class ("26f. Transcendentalism, An American Philosophy”). After trying out several different
Henry David Thoreau, who was originally named David Henry Thoreau, was an American writer, poet, and philosopher.Thoreau was well-known for his book Walden, and his views from Civil Disobedience. He was an articulate and visionary voice for the preservation of wild places as well as an exceptional naturalist. But, he was also known to be self-obsessed, extreme about self-control, and egotistical. He was born on July 12, 1817 in Concord, Massachusetts. In 1833 he attended Harvard and graduated in the top half of his class. He worked off and on in his family’s pencil factory, after teaching for a few years (Schneider). Mentored by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau was pointed in the direction of writing, and lent pond-side land where he lived for two years and wrote his book, Walden. Emerson also introduced him to Transcendentalism, which is the line of thought that successful living is to disregard material concerns and focus on the spiritual world.
Henry’s writing phase started when he got out of college and became friends with a fellow writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, who exposed him to Transcendentalism, a school of thought that emphasized the importance of empirical thinking and spiritual matters from the physical world. Some of Henry’s first works were published in The Dial; a Transcendentalist magazine http://www.biography.com/people/henry-david-thoreau-9506784
Henry David Thoreau, was an American author, poet, philosopher, and made many other historic comments with things such as abolition and leading transcendentalist. He lived in the mid-nineteenth century during a rough time in America. Thoreau attracts diverse perspectives because the individual and collective life he lived. Thoreau is best known for his book “Walden”, a reflection upon simple living. As well, “Resistance to Civil Government” or “Civil Disobedience”, which was an argument for disobedience to an unjust state. He has written over 20 full volumes, with his writings about personal life, and many other environmental things. “He was very deeply interested in the idea of survival in the face of hostile elements. (PAL)” Thoreau has
In the year of 1842, on New Years Day, Thoreau’s brother John fell victim to tetanus. He suffered through a small cut which led to his death a few weeks later. Thoreau was devastated with the loss of his only brother and also a great friend. Thoreau life changed from teaching with his brother to soon closing the Concord academy a short time after John’s death. The income from the profession of a teacher was soon replaced by working with his father at the pencil factory. Despite the fact that the “The Dial” stopped being published in 1844, Thoreau still had lots to say. The flame that was light by Emerson’s speech in the Harvard auditorium has progressed to a high flame. Since the death of Thoreau’s brother, he has felt the need to write a book
Like Emerson, Henry David Thoreau also contributed to the creation of unique America with the belief in anti-consumerist. Thoreau was also the transcendentalist, who was a student and friend of Emerson and he was born on 12th July, 1817. Thoreau’s writing, “Walden” represented a clear identity and it was a challenge to American materialism and ideas of progress. The reformer and writer, Lydia Maria stated that, “The life exhibited in (Thoreau’s books) teaches us that this western activity of which we are so proud, these material improvements, this commercial enterprise, this rapid accumulation of wealth, even our external associated philanthropic action, are very easily