Walden Book


Thoreau aspired to get a more objective view of society via personal introspection by immersing himself in nature. Thoreau’s main goals were simple life and self-sufficiency, and the entire endeavor was influenced by transcendentalist philosophy, a key element of the American Romantic Period.

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(Walden is a book by American transcendentalist writer Henry David Thoreau, first published in 1854 as Walden; or, Life in the Woods.)

Many people have speculated as to why Thoreau traveled to the pond. “Henry went forth to battle when he took to the woods,” E. B. White wrote on this note, “and Walden is the report of a man torn by two powerful and opposing drives—the desire to enjoy the world and the urge to set the world straight,” while Leo Marx noted that Thoreau’s stay at Walden Pond was an experiment based on his teacher Emerson’s “method and of nature,” and that it was a “report of an experiment in transcendental. 

Others have claimed that Thoreau’s goal at Walden Pond was to “perform an experiment: Could he live, possibly even thrive, by removing all unnecessary luxuries and living a plain, simple existence in severely reduced conditions?” He viewed it as a “home economics” experiment. Thoreau moved to Walden to get away from what he saw as “over-civilization” and to seek out the “raw” and “savage delight” of the wilderness, but he also spent time reading and writing.

Thoreau wrote his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, during his time at Walden Pond (July 4, 1845 – September 6, 1847). (1849). The event influenced Thoreau’s book Walden, in which he compresses time into a single calendar year and uses four seasons to represent human evolution.


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