What is the tone in the second paragraph of Chapter 1: Economy in Walden? How does Thoreau create the tone?
Thoreau's tone in this paragraph is that of a humble person explaining to his critics why he has written a book in which he spends so much time talking about himself. He creates this tone by speaking to the reader as simply, directly and transparently as possible: "I would not talk so much about myself if there any body else whom I knew as well," he writes. He underscores his humility and simplicity when says the book is "perhaps ... particularly addressed to poor students." He goes to pains to stress that he is not writing out of egoism. Instead, he says, his neighbors and townspeople have asked him many detailed questions about his life at Walden Pond. He is simply responding to them, not trying to call attention to himself. He ends the paragraph by hoping the book may "do good service to him who it fits." In other words, Thoreau is careful not to make a grandiose claim that his book is for everyone. His words are meant to show he is a modest man.