I am writing this letter in response to the excerpt from Henry David Thoreau’s Walden that was recently included in your newspaper The Dial II. After reading the excerpt, I spent time analyzing the different philosophies that Thoreau portrayed in his essay and I came to the conclusion that I agree with some of his concepts but disagree with most. First off at the beginning of the essay, Thoreau states that “as long as possible live free and uncommitted. It makes but little difference whether you are committed to a farm or county jail.” I partially disagree with this quote because I think it is important that I commit myself to different tasks and duties in order to hold myself accountable. However, I also agree with Thoreau’s statement in the
Thoreau starts his essay by condemning his fellow countrymen’s actions, or rather, inaction. They and Thoreau share similar moral beliefs, but they refuse to take any action towards them.
Emerson was a philosopher and he thought people should discover and believe on their own “definition of freedom” (Foner330). This was a process of one realizing their own definition of freedom and to incorporate it to their lives. Thoreau believed Americans were consuming their lives with building up wealth caused by the market revolution. He thought people should look for real freedom within themselves and contemplate with nature.
First, Thoreau’s Walden displays his simple lifestyle which consisted of having the essential necessities in order to live. An example is told in this quote, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the
As society faced great inequities in the 19th and 20th centuries, activists and philosophers sought to inform the general public. At the turn of the 19th century, Thoreau presented his writing of a "Civil Disobedience" as an argument of the injustices of the tyrannical government after spending a night in jail. Likewise, Martin Luther King Jr. presented his argument to society as he was jailed in 1963. In his "Letter from Birmingham Jail," King perceives the injustice of the African American community as a primary goal as to the need for the advocation of the whole population. Whereas in Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience," it addresses the injustices in broader terms and stresses the despotic government. Both King and Thoreau address these arguments in similar and divergent fashions through the use of purpose, and persuasive writing styles.
The ideals and structures of the society we live in today clearly contrast with the core ideals of Henry David Thoreau. We rely on seemingly everything but ourselves for information, and we have trampled upon the nature that was so valued by Thoreau. Our rapid technological advancements have improved our lives in countless ways, but many elements of our digital technology would surely garner shame from a dedicated transcendentalist like Thoreau. Furthermore, the citizens of America have allowed for an elected government that Thoreau would believe has grown too powerful and possesses excessive influence over our lives. If Thoreau lived in today’s society, he would be aghast at the abuse of the environment due to industrialization,
“You’re sentenced in a jail and you got a date ahead of when you know you’re gonna be let loose” ( Kesey, page 190). The lifeguard that is talking to McMurphy say that being in jail is better than being in at the ward because you do not know when you are going to leave. After this McMurphy talks to Harding and says “Yes; chopping away the brain. Frontal-lobe castration. I guess if she can’t cut below the belt she’ll do it above”. “ I didn’t think the nurse had the say-so on this kind of thing”. “She does indeed” ( Kesey, pg 191). So, McMurphy understands that nurse Ratched has a say in when he can leave the ward. After learning this he becomes quiet and nice towards nurse Ratched. But before learning that she had say in when he could get out he used to go against her orders and laws. “He drags his armchair out of the corner to in the front of the tv set then switches on the set and sits down” (Kesey, page 143). “I said Mr. Murphy, that you are suppose to be working during these hours” (page 144). In this scene he pulls a chair in front of the television to watch the baseball game eventho nurse Ratched said
An aphorism, by definition, is an observation that contains a general truth, or a concise statement of a scientific principle. In simpler terms, it is something a person can use to guide their own path in life. Everyone has their own path to follow, and any one person can create their own. Some aphorisms are easier to comprehend, like Benjamin Franklin’s, “Honesty is the best policy”, which is one that most people know and understand. Others, however, are not so easy to understand. These aphorisms, which tend to give the mind a little more work, are usually the most reliable.
Self reliance is one of the most significant components of the transcendentalism movement that Henry David Thoreau contributed to in his literary career. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” - (taken from Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”). As evident by this quotation by Thoreau, his motives purely consist of living in the idealistic states of nature rather than that of “civilization”. Thoreau also stated, “I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life…”- (taken from Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden”). Thoreau, in this statement shows that he is completely self reliant in the sense that he alone went out to nature to reap what he could and survive by his merits alone, sustaining himself only on what nature had to offer. While conversely McCandless could only survive with a
First he says “we are determined to be starved before we are hungry.” This shows how people are focused on the future that they forget about the present. Then Thoreau mentions how a farmer has an ear out for the fire alarm to save as much of his farm in case of a fire instead of enjoying his farm. Another man is mentioned on how he takes 30 minute naps and when he wakes up or is awoken, he either sees the news or ask for the news after being awake. The news usually had something violet that happened. Since the news was usually violent, it would keep people at home thinking how to be safe in the future, therefore wasting time and some life . instead of taking advantage of the day and being
Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862 born and raised in Concord, was a popular student in Harvard. Despite his financial and health deformities he was able to graduate from the university. By 1837 America was facing an economic depression and jobs were not easily available. Thoreau began to write poems and essays of transcendentalism to escape from the development and also to emphasize on nature. Therefore, he spent two years in Walden Pond (Schneider, 2013).
Thoreau supports the ideal of living simply through the emphasis of only living with what one needs. Simplicity exists
Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is a dissertation written by American abolitionist, author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau published by Elizabeth Peabody in the Aesthetic Papers in 1849. Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was born and lived almost his life in Concord, Massachusetts. After finishing public and private school in Concord he attended the prestige Harvard University. He excelled at Harvard despite leaving school for several months due to health and financial setbacks. Mr. Thoreau graduated in the top half of his class in 1837. Mr. Thoreau argues that people should not allow any government to control or atrophy their thoughts or beliefs. Mr. Thoreau was an also remained a devoted abolitionist and has written
Thoreau uses Walden to share his lessons and ideas which often oppose to the common cliches and concepts. Thoreau reiterates that “A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will,” (Thoreau 277). Being alone gives us the time to think and work. In today's society it is often overlooked to study and research while in absolute solitude. Students tend to text or listen to music while studying or learning which takes away from their experience. Taking time to ourselves leads to growth and change which strengthens our
Purely in terms of common sense and logic, I do not believe that a society can be created solely based on the ideals that Thoreau has stated in his essay. Thoreau claims that one has not only a right, but a duty to disobey the government if one doesn’t believe in its system of rule.