Henry David Thoreau Character Analysis

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Noelle Tomlin Mr. Holtzclaw AP English Lang 2 October 2014 Quarter 1 Outline: Walden 1. Conflicts a. Thoreau faces internal conflict mainly from his contradicting beliefs, ideas, and emotions. He aims to explore himself from within and in relation to nature, and therefore must face constant change that sometimes causes distress. b. During one of Thoreau’s excursions away from the pond, he is confronted by a tax collector. He refuses to pay poll tax because he does not want to support a society based on slavery. His refusal lands him in jail overnight, and he quickly returns home the next morning. 2. Two Characters a. Henry David Thoreau i. Thoreau is the main character, as well as the only major character in the book. He is known as a well educated philosopher, despite his background of poverty. He focuses on an individualistic lifestyle that is free from societal influence, and materialism. ii. He believes nature to be necessary to personal well-being and spiritual awareness, and reflects on the importance of a minimalistic lifestyle. He is dynamic, and therefore is constantly forming new beliefs and ideas so he can improve as a human in daily life. b. Ralph Waldo Emerson i. Though not mentioned directly or often Emerson is the most influential character, other than Thoreau, on the book itself both directly and indirectly. He is known as the leader of transcendentalism, which is the movement that inspired Thoreau. ii. Emerson made it possible for

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