I Went To The Woods Because I Wished To Live Deliberately Meaning

What does it mean in "Walden" when it says, "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life"?

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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, too "frettered away in detail," and that simplifying our lives would help us to understand its true meaning,...

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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, too "frettered away in detail," and that simplifying our lives would help us to understand its true meaning, and appreciate life for its value.  So, he devised a plan.  He went out to live on the property of a friend's, by himself in a shack, for two years.  He tried to produce his own crops, to live from the labor of his own hands, and to get rid of all of the complicating, busying factors that distracted him from life's true meaning.

His purpose in doing this was to be able to gain wisdom and knowledge about life.  He wanted to understand the very simplest elements of life.  "To live deliberately" means to take care and thought about everything that you do in life, and not to do anything just for the heck of it.  Everything that you do has purpose and meaning, and isn't a waste of time.  Thoreau wanted to spend his time doing only things that would enrich his life and make him a better person--no silly, time-wasting, frivolous things, but things that mattered and enriched his soul.  He wanted to "front only the essential facts of life," meaning, to excise any unnecessary stuff that clutters our lives.  Get rid of anything that isn't necessary.  And, he did that.  He lived sparesly,  in a shack, instead of a fancy house filled with unnecessary things.  He wanted to "front" or use, or rely on, only the most basic things needed for survival, and through that, learn what is at the core of living.  He would learn what the most basic facts of life and happiness were.

I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!

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