Thoreau essay walking

It’s so wonderful to see that so many people have read and are knowledgeable about Thoreau’s life and works. Don’t forget also that both Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. found inspiration in his writings, and used them in their campaigns of nonviolence and civil disobedience. If more people followed his advice and example, we’d be a much better society. That’s not just the wishful thinking of an aging hippie, but the lament of someone who often finds our materialistic, self-absorbed, violent lifestyle too cruel to bear.

Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862) occupies a lofty place in American cultural history. He spent two years in a cabin by Walden Pond and a single night in jail, and out of those experiences grew two of this country’s most influential works: his book Walden and the essay known as “Civil Disobedience.” But his lifelong journal—more voluminous by far than his published writings—reveals a fuller, more intimate picture of a man of wide-ranging interests and a profound commitment to living responsibly and passionately.

This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal brings together nearly one hundred items in the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the author. Marking the 200th anniversary of Thoreau's birth and organized in partnership with the Concord Museum in his hometown of Concord, Massachusetts, the show centers on the journal he kept throughout his life and its importance in understanding the essential Thoreau. More than twenty of Thoreau’s journal notebooks are shown along with letters and manuscripts, books from his library, pressed plants from his herbarium, and important personal artifacts. Also featured are the only two photographs for which he sat during his lifetime, shown together for the first time.

Thoreau’s political engagement isn’t exactly news, but Walls foregrounds it vividly to show him as part of a set of engaged communities: radical Concord, the Transcendentalist network, the abolitionist movement, and his own militant family. Far from being a hermit, the Thoreau that Walls portrays is, above all else, a social and political creature. He travels to Brooklyn for a visit with Walt Whitman (“It is as if the beasts spoke,” Thoreau wrote of Leaves of Grass ) and elsewhere spends evenings with both Douglass and Brown. A key part of his early formation was working as a teaching apprentice under Orestes Brownson, the Catholic convert and proto-socialist who figures prominently in the history of American left-wing thought. He also spent time with the Alcotts and Nathaniel Hawthorne—­who, Walls tell us, used Thoreau as the basis for the title character of The Marble Faun , a moody aristocrat rumored to be descended from satyrs. Most Popular 1 This Is What a Socialist Looks Like

The answer to question 2 accurately notes that "Thoreau is no true socialist," but fails to flesh out the primary foundation to support the statement. Socialism is a political force that is firmly rooted in collectivism where the mob (. "society") uses the force of gov't to impose its will on the individuals in the minority. Thoreau clearly abhorred such vile abuse of power. He was a staunch individualist whose actions and writings were universally and diametrically opposed to use of force by the state to impose on people he understood we... Read more →

Thoreau essay walking

thoreau essay walking

The answer to question 2 accurately notes that "Thoreau is no true socialist," but fails to flesh out the primary foundation to support the statement. Socialism is a political force that is firmly rooted in collectivism where the mob (. "society") uses the force of gov't to impose its will on the individuals in the minority. Thoreau clearly abhorred such vile abuse of power. He was a staunch individualist whose actions and writings were universally and diametrically opposed to use of force by the state to impose on people he understood we... Read more →

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