Walden Quotes by Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau Tour
While Thoreau lived at Walden July 4, —September 6, , he wrote journal entries and prepared lyceum lectures on his experiment in living at the pond. By , he had begun to set his first draft of Walden down on paper. After leaving Walden, he expanded and reworked his material repeatedly until the spring of , producing a total of eight versions of the book. However, with the failure of A Week , Munroe backed out of the agreement. Six selections from the book under the title "A Massachusetts Hermit" appeared in advance of publication in the March 29, issue of the New York Daily Tribune. A second printing was issued in , with multiple printings from the same stereotyped plates issued between that time and
For those who have read Thoreau a visit to Walden Pond is mandatory. I visited the park and I just wanted to comment on the condition of the part dedicated to Thoreau. Walden Pond is currently an urban park and was not a wilderness when Thoreau was there, he was just in a small patch of forest surrounded by civilization so although I was a bit suprised by people running around in bathing suits it is what it is. My complaint is the condition of the part of the park dedicated to Thoreau. There is a small area showing the outline of his house and a sign describing his stay.
The slumbering of mankind and need for spiritual awakening
Walden: Simple Living Explained - An Elegantly Written Record of Thoreau's Experiment (2004)
Thoreau uses the idea of slumbering as a metaphor for mankind's propensity to live by routine, without considering the greater questions and meaning of existence. Therefore, Thoreau urges his readers to seek a spiritual awakening. He emphasizes the perspective he gains by awakening early and experiencing nature while others in the village are still sleeping and using the metaphor of awakening in the morning to demonstrate the difference between himself and his Concord townsmen. The spiritual awakening of Thoreau and his readers is reflected both in the times of day and in the seasons of the year, with the greatest self-awareness and spiritual discoveries occurring in the morning and spring. Through his life in the woods, living for the most part off the fruits of the land and deriving intellectual stimulation from plants and animals, Thoreau demonstrates that man can live successfully in the midst of nature. The animals give him companionship and accept him as a familiar part of their environment.
Before Henry David Thoreau could build and move into his house at Walden Pond, he needed to make a plan and gather the necessary materials. Since his project was an experiment in living simply and deliberately, whenever possible he tried to reuse materials instead of purchasing new supplies and to spend money on essential items. For the rest of the lumber, he chopped down some young pines with a borrowed axe. He put used shingles on the roof, old bricks in the chimney, and secondhand glass in the windows. The only other items he bought were: laths, lime and horsehair for plaster; a mantle tree iron to support the chimney; and nails, hinges, screws, chalk and a latch.
The text is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment , voyage of spiritual discovery, satire , and—to some degree—a manual for self-reliance. First published in , Walden details Thoreau's experiences over the course of two years, two months, and two days in a cabin he built near Walden Pond amidst woodland owned by his friend and mentor Ralph Waldo Emerson , near Concord , Massachusetts. The experience later inspired Walden , in which Thoreau compresses the time into a single calendar year and uses passages of four seasons to symbolize human development. The book can be seen as performance art , a demonstration of how easy it can be to acquire the four necessities of life.