Walden Questions and Answers
by Henry David Thoreau

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For what reasons did Thoreau write "Walden"?

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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 years and two months he spent living in the woods at Walden Pond. He writes that some "very particular inquiries had . . .  been made by [his] townsmen regarding [his] mode of life . . ." Further, many asked about what he ate while he lived alone in the woods, if he ever got lonely, what he did with his income, and so forth.  

Moreover, Thoreau writes that he "require[s] of every writer . . . a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men's lives." He says that he is confined to writing about himself because it is what he knows best. He hopes that his readers "will accept such portions as apply to them." In other words, Thoreau intends to write a book that he would respect were it written by someone else, and he hopes that he writes things that other...

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