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October 03, 2005

Nature meditations

Thoreau, Walden (1854; selections) -- American Literature, 1800-1915 (EL 266)

"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."
It sounds like Thoreau was determined to the way the first people on earth did in order to figure out the meaning of life. In fact, it seems this whole selection is digging to answer the question of what life is all about. I think it would be easier for him to answer these philosophical questions because he chose to live in the woods where no other distractions could interupt his thinking, like everyday life. I think his idea of "living" is not to make a life with someone and have a loving family, but seclude himself to become one with nature and understand why God gave it to him. Is it me or was he really lonely?!

Posted by AshleyHoltzer at October 3, 2005 03:53 PM


Good question, Ashley. Jay blogged about loneliness.

Thoreau does have some chapters in which he talks about visitors http://eserver.org/thoreau/walden06.html and the former inhabitants of his woods, and winter visitors.


Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at October 3, 2005 05:27 PM

It is interesting that this quote really interested a lot of people. Vanessa and I both used this for our agenda items. I really think it says a lot about him as a person, and his reasons behind living in the woods. I think in a way he is lonely, but he would rather be lonely than deal with matters in society.

Posted by: Stacy at October 3, 2005 08:42 PM

Yes, Stacy- I think he is happier being alone because his intentions are to live life and figure things out in a natural way without societal distractions.

Posted by: Ashley Holtzer at October 3, 2005 09:09 PM

i definitly don't think that thoreau was lonely. i actually think that he was peaceful. think about it...if you could get away from it all and have some serious "peace and quiet." wouldn't that be wonderful? i think it would be. check out my blog for some more thoughts.

Posted by: LaurenEtling at October 3, 2005 10:34 PM

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