Walden Study Guide

Walden Study Guide

Original title:
Walden; or Life in the Woods
April 18th 2004 by Princeton University Press (first published 1854)
United States of America Concord, Massachusetts, 1845 (United States) Concord, Massachusetts (United States)
ISBN 0691096120 (ISBN13: 9780691096124)

“Walden” was written by Henry Thoreau in 1954. It is a recollection and a kind of social experiment about a man living in simple conditions far away from civilization. The book opens with a story about author’s real experience living near Walden Pond for a couple of years.

“Walden” can have many possible interpretations. For some, it’s a spiritual voyage down the depth of human soul undistracted by contemporary pleasures. For others, it's a radical way to deal with bank loans and credit ratings. Just take a box made of wood, make sure to have some holes for breathing and place to sleep, place it in a middle of the woods and enjoy the life!

Of course, the author doesn’t try to be that extreme, but he does stress that society of his time consumed way too much. For a little bit over two years, the author rejected the usual “home-work-home” cycle and it was worth it since he managed to write his first book in that kind of setting.

In the text the narrator eats natural food that he finds himself, leads a simple lifestyle, entertains himself with the sound of birds singing and rivers flowing. He proves that this is not wasted years of life as many might think. He proves that our needs pyramid has been substantially distorted for the things we don’t actually require. If a man is smart, isn’t afraid of manual work, has books and knows a place to get away from all the artificial creations of life – he can experience a great time!

Nature, thoughts, contemplation, harmony – all these things boost from each line of the text. The seasons that change each other change the protagonist as well. The character matures, a certain sensuality and melancholy sets in towards the end of the book. A lot of the book is devoted to great philosophical thinking that was born in the process of complete unity with nature.

New Essays

Critique of Walden Two

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Walden's Vision and Mission

Walden’s Vision and Mission The vision of Walden is to apply 21st century educational standards to its learning community, creating an environment where graduates can efficiently apply what they learn to challenging situations to solve problems in their respective communities and functioning as...

Walden - on Golden Pond

AT A CERTAIN season of our life we are accustomed to consider every spot as the possible site of a house. I have thus surveyed the country on every side within a dozen miles of where I live. In imagination I have bought all the farms in succession, for all were to be bought, and I knew their price...

Nature Ralph Walden Emerson and Henry David Thoreau Walden

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