What Does Thoreau Mean When I Went To The Woods

766 Words4 Pages
Thoreau was a prominent and influential transcendentalist which meant that he believed modern society’s institutions, organizations, religions, and politics are all corrupt. He believes that people should go back to their roots in nature and be more simple-minded like our ancient ancestors who lived in nature. To think about it in more modern terms, he was practically a minimalist who believed people should only live with things essential for life, basic life necessities like food, water, and shelter. He quotes, “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” (Thoreau 66). From the quote, we can tell that he believes that a life without living with nature and essentials only is a life wasted. Thoreau is a firm believer of self-reliance and independence, he believes that, to live a true fulfilled life is to live one with independence, without relying on businesses or with anything excessive. He chose to live in a forest for two years on his own to prove that we can survive without luxuries and he made sure that he didn’t farm or produce in excess because that was against…show more content…
He wanted to prove that modern society was like a jail and he wanted to escape it so he was glad to succeed in living in the woods on his own with his own mind. His view on modern day society can be seen in his quote, “Most men, even in this comparatively free country, through mere ignorance and mistake, are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labors of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them” (Thoreau 9). During the time he spent in the woods, he thought a lot and had a lot of spiritual encounters. By the time he was getting ready to leave, he was proud of himself for being able to live so simply, alone and
Open Document