Walden Questions and Answers
by Henry David Thoreau

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What is Thoreau's doctrine of simplicity as described in Walden?

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Thoreau believes that through simple living, one can have what is most important in life.  He explains his doctrine of simplicity in Chapter 2, saying, "as long as possible, live free and uncommitted...we are happy in proportion to the things we can do without". Thoreau tells how he once thought about buying a farm, but realized that he could better experience and appreciate the important things in life, such as the beauty of nature and the landscape around him, without being tied down by ownership of material things.

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