Walden Questions and Answers

Walden

In a famous paragraph in Walden, Henry David Thoreau asserts the following: The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2020, 11:52 am (UTC)

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Walden

The theme of Walden is that the simple life brings us more fully alive. Thoreau expresses this theme in chapter 2 of the book when he states the following: I went to the woods because I wished to...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2021, 11:10 am (UTC)

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Walden

This key and very famous chapter of Walden could be called Thoreau's manifesto on why he went to live in the woods by Walden Pond. He says that he goes there to find solitude and strip his life...

Latest answer posted December 21, 2020, 1:45 pm (UTC)

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Walden

In Walden, Henry David Thoreau says that he moved to the woods at Walden Pond because he wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if [he] could not learn...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2020, 3:21 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

With the advent of Internet resources and e-books, page number references have become less useful. Further, Thoreau's Walden has appeared in countless editions over the decades, and each of these...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2021, 3:41 pm (UTC)

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Walden

Thoreau lived on the shore of Walden Pond because he wanted to try living simply as a sort of experiment. He felt that most people lead very unhappy lives due to societal pressures to do too much...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2021, 10:56 am (UTC)

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Walden

In Walden, Thoreau alludes to classical sources, the Bible, and great English authors. It would be as common among the educated audiences that Thoreau was addressing to know Greek literature, the...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2019, 2:20 pm (UTC)

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Walden

In what is probably the most famous passage in the book, Thoreau explains his reason for living by Walden Pond: I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2020, 11:25 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

This sentence from Walden occurs in the context of criticizing technology for making our lives more complicated. Thoreau says we, as a society, believe we must have more railroad tracks so that we...

Latest answer posted September 5, 2018, 1:14 pm (UTC)

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Walden

Thoreau manages to include several meanings in his brief reference to the Myrmidons, the warlike race who, according to Ovid in the Metamorphoses, were changed from ants to men by Zeus in order to...

Latest answer posted November 18, 2020, 1:32 pm (UTC)

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Walden

In this quotation, Thoreau suggests that we do not live deliberately; that we allow our true natures to be disrupted and disturbed by minor occurrences. We care too deeply about small things that...

Latest answer posted October 20, 2019, 7:09 pm (UTC)

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Walden

In Walden, Thoreau uses literary elements such as metaphor, simile, comparison, quotation of other texts, personification, and even sometimes satire to show that he grew closer to nature. For...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2020, 12:24 pm (UTC)

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Walden

If you read the paragraph the quote was taken from, it's all there: 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...

Latest answer posted October 22, 2009, 7:58 am (UTC)

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Walden

In Walden, Thoreau defines the necessities of life as follows: By the words, necessary of life, I mean whatever, of all that man obtains by his own exertions, has been from the first, or from long...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2020, 12:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

Thoreau's quote is as follows: Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep...

Latest answer posted December 22, 2019, 2:30 pm (UTC)

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Walden

Like his good friend and fellow transcendentalist Emerson, Thoreau believed that conformity was most often the path to misery. He argued that nonconformity was the way to find your truest and most...

Latest answer posted March 1, 2019, 7:59 am (UTC)

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Walden

"Economy" is the title of the first chapter of Walden and one of the most important principles by which Thoreau lived during his sojourn in the woods. Thoreau's meaning is not very different from...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2020, 12:14 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

Henry David Thoreau was himself a man who "marched to the beat of a different drummer." For him, and for the other Transcendentalists, individualism was of paramount important. Another...

Latest answer posted May 24, 2010, 2:14 pm (UTC)

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Walden

At the beginning of the chapter titled, "Economy," Thoreau himself says that one major reason for his writing Walden is because so many people were curious about his life, specifically the two...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2017, 12:35 am (UTC)

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Walden

In the first chapter of Walden, Thoreau utilizes personification in his comparison of age and youth. He writes, "Age is no better, hardly so well, qualified for an instructor as youth, for it has...

Latest answer posted December 5, 2019, 2:09 am (UTC)

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Walden

What this quote is saying is that you should embrace your life even if it seems like it isn't such a great life. As he goes on to say, people who are complainers will make even a paradise seem...

Latest answer posted November 2, 2009, 8:56 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Walden

Thanks, mwestwood! That was some excellent detective work!

Latest answer posted January 26, 2012, 9:12 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Walden

In Walden, Thoreau says that to be a philosopher means to live “a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust” in which the problems of life are solved both theoretically and...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2020, 12:47 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

Meanly, in the nineteenth-century, meant to live an ungenerous, miserly, pinched life. It was the opposite of living fully and generously. When he says "Still, we live meanly, like ants," Thoreau...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2018, 7:56 am (UTC)

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Walden

The other answers rightly quote Thoreau’s own stated reason for leaving the woods: because he had begun to fall into a rut in his forest existence, and he was no longer far from the beaten path but...

Latest answer posted January 27, 2018, 2:30 pm (UTC)

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Walden

This metaphor means that rather than simply painting a scene, it is far more difficult and rewarding to paint the atmosphere or lens through which we see this picture. This metaphor can be applied...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2016, 6:41 pm (UTC)

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Walden

Likening the red ants and the black ants to "the republicans (colonists) and the imperalists (the British)," Walden compares the battling insects to humans: For numbers and for carnage it was an...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2010, 7:11 am (UTC)

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Walden

According to Thoreau, Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest....

Latest answer posted January 6, 2019, 9:16 pm (UTC)

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Walden

Thoreau witnesses two sets of ants fighting on top of his woodpile. One set is black and the other is red. Thoreau has no idea why the ants are fighting, but it is clear that the two armies are...

Latest answer posted December 21, 2020, 12:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

Henry David Thoreau's 1854 book Walden is considered one of the defining works in the transcendentalist genre, and recounts how Thoreau spent two years living in a cabin on Walden Pond, searching...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2012, 7:50 am (UTC)

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Walden

Thoreau is a Transcendentalist author. The best way to describe them is to more or less say that they are extreme Romanticism authors. Romanticism is a literary time period and genre that has...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2016, 2:35 pm (UTC)

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Walden

Transcendentalism is an American system of thought deriving from both European Romanticism and New England protestantism that privileges nature and the individual over civilization and tradition....

Latest answer posted December 19, 2020, 12:25 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

I'm assuming that you don't quite understand the phrases and need some interpretion? If that's the case, I will try to help. "Walden" by Henry David Thoreau is a very thought-provoking account of...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2009, 6:19 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

This is a good question. It comes down to the underlying structure of those chapters as they fit together. Thoreau condenses his two-year experience into just one here, and he uses a standard...

Latest answer posted May 31, 2016, 12:00 pm (UTC)

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Walden

I think that the modern implications of Thoreau's quote is rooted in the idea that individuals must listen to their own sense of voice. Thoreau is zealous about the idea that individuals break...

Latest answer posted December 25, 2011, 8:12 pm (UTC)

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Walden

Thoreau sees an army of red ants battle an army of black ants near the woodpile by his cabin on Walden Pond. He gets involved in the ferocity of their battle, and he compares it to the Battle of...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2021, 12:11 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

Henry David Thoreau, a student of Ralph Waldo Emerson's, was a transcendentalist, who believed strongly in the power of nature and living simply. He believed that our lives were too complicated,...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2009, 12:33 am (UTC)

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Walden

Simplicity is very important to Thoreau. For him, it isn't just an important philosophical ideal; it's a way of life. Thoreau believes that living a simple life is the best way to reduce one's...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2020, 12:56 pm (UTC)

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Walden

Getting meaning out of just that quote is possible, but it makes more sense when taken with the full sentence it came from. "I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so...

Latest answer posted April 20, 2015, 11:12 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

An analogy is a comparison between two things. It is like a metaphor, but more apparent. Thoreau, in Walden, repeatedly uses analogy when comparing human development to the ripening of fruit. For...

Latest answer posted July 2, 2020, 12:15 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

Thoreau believed, and said, that people do not own possessions, the possessions own them. He means that when people own things, they become so concerned about protecting and maintaining those...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2011, 8:25 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

The other answer gives a succinct description of Thoreau's cabin. I have seen its reproduction at Walden Pond, and a main takeaway is how tiny it is. Thoreau, however, talks expansively about the...

Latest answer posted February 14, 2018, 12:28 pm (UTC)

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Walden

Part of the reason why Thoreau is vitally important today is because he represents how the spirit of dissent is something that is an intrinsic component to American History. In a more globalized...

Latest answer posted March 8, 2010, 7:15 pm (UTC)

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Walden

Before Henry David Thoreau could build his cabin, he needed land to build his cabin on. That land was acquired through Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson was a famous writer who had bought lots of cheap...

Latest answer posted December 20, 2020, 8:06 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

Thoreau was a philosopher, a nature-lover and naturalist, and a writer. These suggest the things that were important to him. One of his best-known quotes is: Rather than love, than money, than...

Latest answer posted December 26, 2015, 7:41 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

Without the symbolism of Walden Pond, it's likely that Thoreau's book would be little more than a collection of essays lacking an overall sense of structure. But because Walden Pond is always...

Latest answer posted July 8, 2021, 12:36 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Walden

Henry David Thoreau was certainly emotionally and intellectually invested in the notion that it was imperative for humans to coexist on equal terms with nature. Whereas most viewed the wilderness...

Latest answer posted September 28, 2017, 10:41 pm (UTC)

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Walden

In Walden, Henry David Thoreau made a significant contribution to New England transcendentalism. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, transcendentalism was a nineteenth-century movement of...

Latest answer posted January 25, 2020, 8:49 pm (UTC)

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Walden

Thoreau's statement that you should "keep your accounts on your thumb-nail" in Chapter 2 of Walden can refer to the idea that one should not owe or be owed much, if any, money. However, this is...

Latest answer posted July 3, 2016, 8:54 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Walden

Henry Thoreau doesn’t specifically offer advice to anyone already living in dire poverty, per se. Instead, in the “Economy” chapter of Walden, he recommends simplifying one’s life as much as...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2016, 11:47 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

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