John Thoreau Summary

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8 - 7 - 17 Visitors I was startled at the beginning of the chapter by Thoreau’s confession that he loves society, despite him previously saying that he did not like company, making me think even the most introverted have a longing for connection. I enjoyed the part where Thoreau talks about risk. It made sense to me when he states that as long as someone is alive, there is always the danger that he will die. I have contemplated this before, that there is no way to truly be safe, so we must be confident in the risks we take. For example, the majority of people in the US drive almost every day, and driving is very dangerous, having killed a large amount of people. Thoreau highly regards frankness in conversation, and he says about one of his visitors who is truthful that “our intercourse might go forward to something better than the intercourse of sages.” I personally agree with him. I’d much rather prefer someone to be honest with me than to tell me lies that are meant to please me. However, I do not think it is always the best idea to be frank, because there are many people who get easily offended by the truth. I always feel bad hiding the truth from someone to make them feel happy, but sometimes it is more practical to make that decision. Another thing Thoreau says which caught my attention was his observation of the positive originality that one of his visitors displays. Thoreau says that he was “thinking for himself and expressing his own opinion,” a rare phenomenon, and
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