Thoreau wrote that he "went in to the woods deliberately." I know that "deliberately" means "on purpose" What deeper meaning did "deliberately" mean?

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marilynn07 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Henry David Thoreau went into the woods on purpose. He went there to think or deliberate about life, living simply, and what it meant to be at one with nature and the natural world. Thoreau was well educated at Harvard, but did most of his learning in "The Academy of the Universe" according to the ideas and ideals of the Transendental Club of his time.

Thoreau was a transendental writer, so much of what he wrote about was man's place in the bigger universe, man's relationship with "God" or the "Creator", and man's relationship with other men.

Thoreau used the woods as an escape  from the complications of urban living or modern living. He might be considered one of the first icons for giving us Walden: Or, Life in the Woods (1854) which led to the "back-to-the-land" movement of the 1970s.

Thoreau was so comfortable in the woods and living on the land that he had little time for intimate human relationships. He did keep a close relationship with Ralph Waldo Emmerson and his wife who frequently baked Thoreau pies .

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