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There is never an instant's truce between virtue and vice.Goodness is the only investment that never fails." (218)“I hesitate to say these things, but it is not because of the subject,—I care not how obscene my are, —but because I cannot speak of them without betraying my impurity.
Link these key ideas and beliefs to passages in Thoreau’s Walden and support the claim that Thoreau was a transcendentalist.
For a more challenging alternative, explore the ways in which Henry David Thoreau deviates from some of the central ideas and modes of transcendentalism.
Every man is tasked to make his life, even in its details, worthy of the contemplation of his most elevated and critical hour.
If we refused, or rather used up, such paltry information as we get, the oracles would distinctly inform us how this might be done." (90)“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived….
, Thoreau's most famous writing articulating the essence of Transcendentalism, was published in 1854.
The book, often read in grades 11-12, reflects Thoreau's attempt to 'live life simply.' A popular quote from its second chapter:"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
In the closing paragraph of this essay on Walden by Henry David Thoreau, you might want to speculate how the overall meaning and themes would be altered if he had chosen another genre for this text.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: Thoreau as Character in Walden One of the only human “characters" in Walden, Thoreau is both author and subject of this text.
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.
For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it." (90-91)“I have never felt lonesome, or in the least oppressed by a sense of solitude, but once, and that was a few weeks after I came to the woods, when, for an hour, I doubted if the near neighborhood of man was not essential to a serene and healthy life." (131)“If one listens to the faintest but constant suggestions of his genius, which are certainly true, he sees not to what extremes, or even insanity, it may lead him; and yet that way, as he grows more resolute and faithful, his road lies." (216)“If we knew all the laws of Nature, we should need only one fact, or the description of one actual phenomenon, to infer all the particular results at that point.