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Henry David Thoreau Essay

597 words - 3 pages

William Kriews
April 11, 2011

Walden, by Henry David Thoreau is written in first person about the events and ideas that came to the author during his time living at Walden Pond in the eighteen hundreds.  Henry David Thoreau was a poet and a philosopher who lived a life of simplicity in order to make a direct connection between people, God, and nature.  He viewed knowledge as an "intuitive force rather than a set of learned, logical proofs."  His writing in Walden focused on many different themes, including the relationship between light and dark, the ideas and importance of nature, the meaning of progress, the importance of detail, and the relationship between the mind and body.  He also developed many philosophical ideas concerning knowing yourself, living simply and deliberately, and seeking truth.

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"  He also believed that "gluttony is bad," and so we should "only content ourselves with possessions that we need."  Thoreau focused on living deliberately, and stated "to settle, and to feel reality in its fullness, is the point."
In “Economy” there are opinions that I agree with. Thoreau’s idea of living simply and deliberately is a great idea. Keeping life simple is a great way to reduce stress as you have no added upkeep or pressures of maintaining extra amenities. His deliberate way of living is very straight and to the point. Taking the time to put all of your attention to a specific moment is a fantastic way to learn a lot about that individual process or element. In today’s world so much is happening so fast that we don’t have time to live deliberately, like most would like to do.
While there are many other things that I do agree with there are a few things I disagree with. Henry David Thoreau states that there are only four basic necessities to live. I do not agree that those were the only basic necessities. Along with the food, shelter, clothing and fuel that he states, I also believe you need love and the will to advance in life. While these could just be my opinions I still believe they are very important to life as a human. I feel that Thoreau’s view of wanting less could be somewhat of a character flaw. I believe that wanting something, possibly beyond your means, drives you to advance in life. Advancing in life can give you the means to acquire the “extra” things that you just want and not need.
In conclusion I believe that the time Henry David Thoreau took for himself was beneficial for him. He learned a lot about himself and how he can live his life better. His way of living is not for everybody. If we all lived that way I do believe we would not advance with technology and healthcare. What I have learned though is that you should take everything in moderation and enjoy what is happening around you.

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