Thoreau says, in part,
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.
He believes that people have become overwhelmed by their possessions, that they feel they must work and work more in order to buy more and more stuff. They have houses that are too big, with rooms they don't need, and they fill those rooms with things they don't need. The more people feel compelled by materialist...
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