How does Walden address the issue of how much is enough?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that one can go with Thoreau's work into different directions with this particular idea.  On one hand, if the question refers to material wealth and the acquisition of objects, Thoreau is probably going to dismiss these in their entirety. For Thoreau, the desire to be unified with a life force that is evident in consciousness is not going to be accomplished through conveting items and objects.  Nothing can emerge from her that is positive and reinforcing the potential bond that exists between humans and the world.  The question of "how much" has to be pivoted into a spiritual realm, something in which Thoreau would argue has to become the new currency of humanity. Individuals should focus their energies on how much a part of the natural world an individual can become.  To this end, I think that Thoreau would argue that "too much is never enough."  The hopes of unity and immersion with the natural condition allows a sense of understanding to emerge that drives Thoreau, animating his spirit and helping him gain a greater sense of awareness about himself and his place in the universe.  It is to this end where I think that Thoreau and Walden can take different approaches to the question.