Walden Questions and Answers
by Henry David Thoreau

Walden book cover
Start Your Free Trial

For what reasons did Thoreau write "Walden"?

Expert Answers info

Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write7,132 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

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...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 553 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write16,149 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial